Mohammed Zubair gets bail in tweet case; Court says, ‘Hindu religion tolerant’
Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair has been granted bail in the 2018 tweet case on a personal bond and surety of ₹50,000. Zubair was arrested on June 27 by Delhi Police in connection with a 2018 tweet.
A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in connection with the 2018 tweet case, weeks after he was arrested. The bail has been granted on a personal bond and surety of ₹50,000. the fact-checker will not be able to leave the country without the permission of the court, the verdict said. The court, on Thursday, had reserved the order in the case for today.Also Read | Amid Zubair bail plea hearing, Delhi court asks: ‘How many offended by tweet?’
“The voice of dissent is necessary for healthy democracy. Therefore, merely for the criticism of any political parties it is not justified to invoke section 153A and 295A IPC,” the court observed.
"Hindu religion is one of the oldest religions and most tolerant. The followers of the Hindu religion are also tolerant. Hindu religion is so tolerant that its followers proudly name their institution/organisation/facilities in the name of their Holy God or Goddess. A large number of Hindus proudly name their children in the name of their Holy God and Goddess," the court observed.
On Thursday, Zubair moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the six FIRs lodged against him in several districts of Uttar Pradesh for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, and also sought interim bail in all the cases.
Zubair was arrested on June 27 by Delhi Police in a case that is related to an alleged objectionable tweet he had posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity. From Tihar jail, he was then brought to the Hathras court in connection with a case registered against him for calling Hindu seers 'hate mongers'. The Uttar Pradesh government set up a two-member SIT, headed by IG Dr Preetinder Singh, to probe six cases lodged against Zubair in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar and Hathras.
The Supreme Court last week gave temporary relief to Zubair as it had agreed to give him interim bail for five days in connection with the UP case. Zubair will continue to remain in jail in connection with the other FIRs registered against him in Uttar Pradesh.
Delhi Police special public prosecutor Atul Srivastavaon Thursday opposed Zubair's bail plea in the Delhi high court and submitted that the bail should not be granted at this stage. Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) is also there where the economy is also involved.
Delhi Police said, "56 lakh rupees were received by the organisation where he (Mohd Zubair) is a director violating FCRA. We gave notice to the Razor pay. There is also a certain forgery in this case which may be done, we are looking at that. The bank's notice has already been issued."
The Police alleged that it was done in a planned and clever way. "It is not as simple as Zubair's lawyer has projected," Delhi Police lawyer submitted.