SC agrees to examine Zubair's plea seeking bail, quashing of UP FIR
New Delhi, July 7, 2022
Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair on Thursday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court's refusal to quash the FIR registered against him for his Twitter posts about Hindu seers and the top court agreed to list the matter on Friday.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, representing Zubair, mentioned the matter before a vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and J.K. Maheshwari and sought urgent hearing on the plea.
Gonsalves said that a look at the FIR shows that there is no crime and there are death threats against his client. He added that they went to the Allahabad High Court, but no relief was granted and the court said it was premature.
"Bail is sought on emergency. There are death threats on the Internet. If possible, list today at 2 pm...," said Gonsalves.
The bench agreed to list the matter and posted it for Friday.
The top court, in its order, said: "It is mentioned that there is urgency in the matter. Let the matter be listed on 08.07.2022 before the appropriate Bench subject to assignment."
In June, a case was registered against Zubair at the Khairabad police station on a complaint lodged by Hindu Lion Army district president Bhagwan Sharan. The case was registered under IPC section 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) and section 67 of the IT Act. On June 27, Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets. Zubair moved the top court against the Allahabad High Court order.
The plea contended that there is a new strategy afoot of the police in communal crime cases, which is to register FIRs against those engaging in hate speech and communal crimes, and also rope in all secular elements monitoring such crimes and protesting police inaction against the wrongdoers. The plea sought a stay of the investigation on the Sitapur FIR and also a direction to the UP government not to proceed, prosecute or arrest him.
On July 2, a Delhi court rejected the bail plea of Zubair in connection with an "objectionable tweet" allegedly posted against a Hindu deity, and granted his 14-day custody as sought by the Delhi Police. He will be next produced before the court on July 16.
The Delhi High Court had earlier issued a notice to the Delhi Police on a plea moved by Zubair challenging the Patiala House Court's order allowing his police custody and seizure of his laptop in connection with the alleged objectionable tweet.