Delhi Court denies bail to Alt News co-founder Zubair, sends him to 14-day judicial custody
New Delhi, July 2, 2022
A Delhi Court on Saturday rejected the bail application of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in connection with the contentious 2018 tweet case and allowed the Delhi Police for further 14-day judicial custody of the fact-checker.
Zubair was produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria at Patiala House Court as his four-day judicial custody in the case, in which he had allegedly hurt the sentiments of a community through a tweet, ended on Saturday.
After hearing the detailed arguments of the parties, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate refused to grant relief to him.
During the course of the hearing, advocate Vrinda Grover appearing for Zubair, placed on record an application to record that the electronic device and hard disc were seized, arguing that till date no hash value or clone is generated by cybercrime.
Atul Shrivastava, the newly-appointed Special Public Prosecutor for Delhi Police, argued that as per the CDR analysis, Zubair has accepted funds through Razor gateway, from Pakistan, Syria which needs further investigation.
The new charges invoked against Zubair are under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.
Earlier, he was charged under the Indian Penal Code's Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) for one of his objectionable tweets.
As per the FIR, accused Zubair had used a screengrab of an old Hindi movie which showed an image of a hotel, with its board reading 'Hanuman hotel' instead of 'Honeymoon hotel'. In his tweet, Zubair had written, "Before 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel".
The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to the Delhi Police on a plea moved by Zubair challenging the Patiala House court order allowing his police custody and seizure of his laptop in connection with the alleged objectionable tweet.