A Delhi Court on Tuesday adjourned hearing in the bail petition of Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, who was arrested by Delhi Police for promoting enmity among religious groups.
The Additional Sessions Court of Judge Devender Kumar Jangala fixed the matter for hearing on July 14, after noting that the Supreme Court was hearing a separate case involving Zubair.
The fact-finder had filed the plea through his lawyer Soutik Bannerjee after his petition was rejected by the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate and he was sent to 14 days judicial custody on July 2.
Zubair was arrested because of a tweet that was put by him in 2018.
The Alt News co-founder was initially booked for offences under Section153A (promoting enmity between religious groups) and Section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Later on, he was also booked for offences under Section 35 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and Sections 201 (destruction of evidence) and 120b (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.
A twitter handle called Hanuman Bhakt had alleged Zubair of tweeting a questionable image of a deity with the intention to deliberately insult a Hindu God.
“Such tweets were getting retweeted and it appeared that there is a brigade of social media entities, who indulge in insult mongering thereby leading to a possible ramification on communal harmony and is overall against the maintenance of public tranquility,” a statement by Delhi Police had said.
The Lawyer of Zubair has maintained that the tweeted image was a screenshot from a 1983 movie ‘Kissi se na kehna’.
On June 27,Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police and was remanded to one-day police custody by the duty magistrate.
Later he was produced before Chief Metropolitan magistrate on June 28 where he was remanded to further police custody for 4 days.
Subsequently, he was remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.
The hearing will take place before an Additional Sessions Court on Tuesday.
Zubair has also been booked by the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police in two separate FIRs.
He was booked by Sitapur Police in a case of hurting religious sentiments in which the Supreme Court granted him interim bail on July 8.
He was remanded to 14-day judicial custody in another FIR registered in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri district.