Telugu news channel, ABN Andhrajyothi has filed a contempt of court petition against the Government of Andhra Pradesh alleging violation of the Supreme Court order of April 30 which directed Central and States government not to clampdown on citizens communicating their grievances related to COVID-19 via social media. .The plea claimed that a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against the petitioner as well as another channel TV5, for reporting remarks by YSR Congress MP, Kannumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju who criticised the actions of the Chief Minister and the Government of Andhra Pradesh in handling the COVID-19 pandemic.The FIR was registered for offences of sedition (Section 124A of IPA), creating enmity between religious groups (Section 153A of IPC) .."The FIR has been filed with the sole purpose of intimidating the media and public of the State and to make it clear that any voice, which the Government of Andhra Pradesh perceives to be critical of its actions or a threat to the image of being in control it is seeking to portray, will be dealt with strictly, by illegally using the police power of the State," the petition said. .The petitioner submitted that it has been constrained to file the present contempt petition since the State's willful and deliberate disobedience of the order of the top court has led to violation of its freedom of speech and expression.."It which would affect these platforms in continuing to cover the Covid-19 Pandemic in an unbiased manner and provide accurate information to the public," the petition added. .The Supreme Court had on April 30 made it clear in unequivocal terms that there can be no clampdown on citizens communicating their grievances on social media as regards COVID-19.Any such actions by the authorities will be treated as contempt of Supreme Court, a Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud and also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat had said while hearing the suo motu case initiated by the top court to examine issues relating to COVID handling. The present contempt petition has been filed in the said suo motu case alleging violation of the April 30 directions. .The Chief Secretary of the State of Andhra Pradesh, the Principal Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, the Director General of Police of the State, Damodar Gautam Sawang and Additional Director General of Police (CID), PV Sunil Kumar have been arraigned as contemnors. .In its plea, ABN argued that Government of Andhra Pradesh, has on several occasions, “violated orders passed by the Constitutional Courts and tribunals, and expressed public displeasure in most disrespectful terms to orders passed against it by any Court.”.“The investigation agencies of the contemnor State government are well known for subverting rule of law and exercising their police powers in an illegal and high-handed manner at the behest of their political masters,” said the petition..The plea pointed out that the Supreme Court had said that it “wants to make it very clear that if citizens communicate their grievances on social media, then it cannot be said it is wrong information. We do not want any clampdown of information. We will treat it as a contempt of court if such grievances are considered for action.".Despite that, the Government of Andhra Pradesh is extremely focused on maintaining an image that it is in control of the pandemic situation. Hence, it considers the views telecast by the petitioner's channel as a threat to its image though the petitioner was only doing its job, it was submitted. .The petitioner also claimed that the State government has clamped down on and made attempts to silence members of the public, who have been using the internet, media and social media to seek help or to highlight the dismal conditions prevailing in Covid hospitals. .“Merely because the content of the news reported in an unbiased manner is critical of a government or not to its liking, it cannot be said that the news outlet has committed an act of sedition or inciting hatred,” the petitioner contended. .ABN Andhrajyothi is the second Television channel to move the apex court in relation to the issue. Earlier TV5 news channel had also approached the Supreme Court against the FIR registered against them by Andhra Pradesh Police for sedition and other charges after it telecast "offending speeches" made by Kanumuri Raghurama Krishnam Raju.