Wed, 20 Jul 2022 06:22 PM IST
The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to Mohammad Zubair, the co-founder of the fact-checking website Alt News in all the First Information Report (FIR) filed against him in Uttar Pradesh. Zubair was apprehended last month after an FIR was registered against him for "hurting Hindu sentiments" via his tweet.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and AS Bopanna said there is no justification to keep Zubair in continued detention, especially since the allegations in the FIRs registered in Uttar Pradesh are similar to those in the Delhi Police FIR. The bench directed Zubair to furnish a bail bond of Rs 20,000 before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate at Patiala House Court.
Here Are Top 10 Statements Of The Court :
1. The bench declined the request saying "We can't say that he won't tweet again. It is like telling a lawyer that you should not argue. How can we tell a journalist that he will not write? If there is any tweets against law, he will be answerable."
2."How can we pass any anticipatory order that someone will not speak..."
3. "We are in the age of digital media and social media and that is why the role of someone debunking propaganda can irk someone but the law cannot be weaponised against Zubair."
4. "We cannot stop him from tweeting. We cannot anticipatorily interdict him from exercising his right of free speech. He will be answerable as per the law. Evidence is all in public domain."
5. "State is conscious that here is a person who instead of informing police, takes advantage of videos, speeches etc which can create communal divide. UP State is not here because of some tweets, but because of violence that has happened after such tweets."
6. "Essentially the gravamen of allegations are tweets by him. He has been subjected to fairly sustained probe by Delhi Police. We don't find reason for his deprivation of liberty to persist further."
7. "The petitioner has an apprehension about the safety and security of his life. The petitioner submitted that the tweets were not derogatory towards any religion."
8. "It's a set principle of law that power of arrests must be pursued sparingly. In the present case, no justification to keep him in continued detention."
9. "Fairness to the petitioner would require that entirely of the probe and FIRs should be clubbed. The overlap in the FIRs emanating as they do from tweets of petitioner could only go to empathise the need for consolidated probe."
10. "Petitioner entitled to interim bail. Bail bonds to be presented before Patiala House Court. Immediately after that Tihar Jail will ensure he is released from custody by 6 pm today."