Fact-checker Mohammed Zubair's first tweet after being granted bail: ‘Jo aaj…’
Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair on Thursday posted his first tweet after being granted bail by the Supreme Court in six cases filed against him in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly hurting religious sentiments with Twitter posts on July 20 and thanked his well-wishers for supporting him for the past month.
He began his tweet with Urdu doyen Rahat Indori's poem, saying, “Jo aaj sahib-e-masnand hai kal nahi hoge!", which roughly means those who are in power today, won't be there tomorrow.
“Thank you everyone, I am humbled and grateful for the amazing support I’ve received in the past one month from well wishers in India and from across the world. Your support gave a lot of strength to me & my family,” he tweeted.
Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on June 27 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity.
Zubair was held in police and judicial custody following half a dozen FIRs lodged against him in different parts of Uttar Pradesh for posting tweets that allegedly hurt religious sentiments. The UP state police had also set up a Special Investigation Team to probe the allegations.
A bench of SC justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and AS Bopanna had ordered disbanding of the SIT and transfer of all the cases to Delhi, saying there was "no reason or justification for the deprivation of his (Zubair’s) liberty to persist any further."
The SC bench also refused to restrain Zubair from tweeting in the future as sought by the UP government.
On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court granted time to Delhi Police to respond to Zubair's plea against his arrest and search and seizure exercise in a case related to the alleged objectionable tweet.
Lawyer Vrinda Grover, appearing for the petitioner, informed the high court that the trial court had granted bail to him earlier this month but urged the bench to grant him relief as sought in the petition.
The matter will be heard next on September 15.
On July 1, the court had issued notice on Zubair's petition and granted two weeks to the investigating agency to file its response to the plea which challenges the legality and propriety of the trial court's June 28 order granting the fact-checking website's founder's custody to police for four days.
Earlier in June, a case was registered against Zubair under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language, etc.) and 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
(With inputs from agencies)