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Supreme Court cautions CBI, ED against using terms like south lobby'

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Vujjini Vamshidhar

Published on: May 8, 2023 | Updated on: May 8, 2023

Supreme Court of India (PTI)

Hyderabad: The Supreme Court on Monday expressed displeasure at the penchant of CBI and Enforcement Directorate(ED) for using epithets like ‘South Group", "South Lobby" and "the South liquor lobby" in official documents like FIRs, chargesheets, remand copy and others, which relate to the Delhi liquor scam case.

The bench, comprising Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice M.M. Sundresh, observed that the national investigation agencies should refrain from using such terms indicating territorial affiliation.

The bench was dealing with a petition filed by Patlola Karthik Reddy, son of Telangana education minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy. He urged the court to caution the investigation agencies against using such terms, while referring to the alleged accused.

He submitted that this was outright regional discrimination and constitutionally impermissible. Linking an accused to a specific region can be detrimental to the idea of a united India as encapsulated by Article 1 of the Constitution.

The bench directed Karthik Reddy to make a representation to the CBI and ED against using such words in future. If the CBI and ED fail to change their stand in this regard, then the petitioner can approach the court.