Sunday, December 3, 2023

Bail denied to Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair by Delhi court

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Mohammed Zubair, co-Founder of fact-checking site Alt News, was on Saturday denied bail by a Court in Delhi.

Zubair was produced before the Court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria today, on the expiry of his four-day police custody.

Delhi Police arrested him recently for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity by way of his tweet made in 2018.

The Patiala House Court pronounced the order at 7 pm, remanding him to 14-day judicial custody.

Earlier, Advocate Soutik Banerjee, appearing for Zubair, had raised an objection that Delhi Police had leaked the order to the media before it was actually pronounced by the Court.

It was later reported that Delhi Police DCP KPS Malhotra had informed the media incorrectly about the bail order.

Delhi Police said it had registered case against Zubair on the basis of a complaint received from a Twitter handle, alleging that Zubair had tweeted a “questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.”

According to the FIR, Zubair’s tweet from 2018 on the renaming of a ‘Honeymoon Hotel’ after Hindu god Hanuman was an insult of their religion.

Zubair’s Advocate Vrinda Grover had submitted that the image in question was from Hindi movie “Kisi Se Na Kehna”, which was made in 1983.

She claimed that several Twitter users had shared the image, however, only Zubair was targeted, on the basis of his profession (journalism) and religious community.

According to the Advocate, Zubair was called for questioning in a 2020 FIR against him, however, he was arrested in a different FIR and the remand copy has not been made available by the Police.

The lawyer also objected to the Police demanding mobile phone and laptop of Zubair.

The Public Prosecutor submitted that laptops and instruments from which the tweet in question was posted, were necessary for investigation and so, there

He claimed that Zubair had deleted all the applications from his phone and arrived with a “blank phone”.

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