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Business News/ News / ' How can we ask a journalist not to tweet..,' Justice Chandrachud on Mohammed Zubair's bail order

' How can we ask a journalist not to tweet..,' Justice Chandrachud on Mohammed Zubair's bail order

While granting bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, Justice Chandrachud asked asking a journalist not to tweet is like telling a lawyer that 'you should not argue'

Mohammed Zubair was granted bail by the Supreme Court (Twitter)Premium
Mohammed Zubair was granted bail by the Supreme Court (Twitter)

"How can we ask a journalist not to tweet, it's like telling a lawyer that you should not argue," said Justice Chandrachud of the Supreme Court bench while granting bail to Mohammed Zubair, Alt News co-founder and fact checker, in all the six FIRs registered against him in Uttar Pradesh, concerning his alleged derogatory tweets.

While announcing the bail order, the court also noted that the "instrument of the criminal law has been used to harass and silence the voice of the petitioner which would be apparent from the manner in which he has been made to face successive proceedings".

When Additional Advocate General (AAG) for Uttar Pradesh, arguing in the Supreme Court, said that the court had earlier directed that the petitioner (Mohammed Zubair) should not post tweets, Justice Chandrachud said it was like telling a lawyer not to argue.

"It is like telling a lawyer that you should not argue. How can we tell a journalist that he will not write?" asked Justice Chandrachud.

To which, the AAG argued: "He is not a journalist," adding, "There be a condition that he will not tamper with the evidence.

Justice Chandrachud replied: "If there is any tweets against law, he will be answerable. How can be pass any anticipatory order that someone will not speak. The evidences are in public domain. We can't say that he won't tweet again."

The Supreme Court also ordered that Mohammed Zubair will be released on bail if any other FIR is lodged against him for the same cause of action.

The Supreme Court granted bail to Mohammed Zubair in all UP Police FIRs and also directed that FIRs in all the cases must be clubbed together and handled by one investigation authority. The Supreme Court also disbanded the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the UP Police.

The court has ordered Mohammed Zubair's release from jail by 6 pm today.

Mohammed Zubair was arrested on June 27 for allegedly outraging religious sentiments through a four-year-old tweet. In the tweet, Mohammed Zubair shared a screenshot from a popular Hindi movie.

Just before he was arrested, Mohammed Zubair had flagged a video of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma's provocative remarks on Prophet Mohammed, which went viral, triggering violent protests across the country.

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Updated: 20 Jul 2022, 04:42 PM IST
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