BJP Member of Parliament Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday claimed victory in Andhra Pradesh High Court as police informed the court that the picture of Jesus Christ was never used on the website of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) as reported by a Telugu daily in 2019.

The police also conveyed to the court that it was framing charges against three persons of the newspaper for carrying a report which incited people.

Subramanian Swamy

Subramanian Swamy, who argued the case on behalf of TTD, termed it as a victory as the trial will now begin in the case. He alleged that 'Andhra Jyoti' indirectly managed by former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu carried a report which incited people but turned out to be a lie.

The former union minister told a television channel that he had taken up the case at the request of Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

He said 'Andhra Jyoti' had carried a front-page story that TTD board, which is the custodian of the famed Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala, displayed on its website a picture of Jesus Christ. He said the newspapers did not have even the basic courtesy of speaking to TTD chairman Y.V. Subba Reddy

Swamy said this had led to tremendous upheaval among Hindus but the investigations revealed that the report was totally fabricated. Subba Reddy had filed a defamation suit against the daily for Rs 100 crore.

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Board

Swamy recalled that he had also filed a hate speech petition under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 153, 153A, 295, 295A, 500 naming editors, journalists having committed acts that incited people.

The TTD has filed a complaint with the police there was no investigation and nothing happened for the next one-and-a-half years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He later went to the High Court seeking court monitoring of the investigation. In response to the court notice, the DGP informed the court that the investigations concluded that there was never a picture of Jesus Christ on the TTD website.

Police said a case was registered and persons involved were summoned to the police station. The police also conveyed that they are now framing charges against three people.

Terming this as a victory, Swamy said the trial will now begin in the case.