Delhi court grants bail to Mohd Zubair, says dissent necessary for healthy democracy
NEW DELHI: Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Friday, while granting bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a case related to an allegedly objectionable tweet, observed that “the voice of dissent is necessary for a democracy healthy”. it is not justified to invoke articles 153A and 295A of the IPC”.
Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangla said, “Democracy is government by the people through open discussion. Democracy cannot function or thrive if people do not come out to share their views. Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India grants freedom of speech and expression to its citizens. Without a doubt, freedom of expression is the very foundation of a democratic society.
A free exchange of ideas, the dissemination of information without restriction, the dissemination of knowledge, the dissemination of different points of view, debate, the formation of one’s own opinions and their expression are the basic indicators of a free society. , said the judge.
Only this freedom enables people to formulate their own views and opinions on an appropriate basis and to exercise their social, economic and political rights in a free society with full knowledge of the facts. The court noted that the present case concerns the tweet of an image accompanied by two words “Before 2014” and “After 2014”.
It is stated by the Delhi Police Advocate for the State that the image tagged with a tweet has hurt the feelings of the Hindu community and is enough to incite feelings of hatred among the people which is punishable in under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He also noted that the State’s Special Additional Attorney General also pointed out that the words “before 2014” and “after 2014” pointed to the ruling political party to show the state of affairs in a detrimental way. The Hindu religion is one of the oldest and most tolerant religions.
Followers of the Hindu religion are also tolerant. The Hindu religion is so tolerant that its followers proudly name their institution/organization/facilities in the name of their Holy God or Goddess.
“A large number of Hindus proudly name their children in the name of their sacred God and Goddess. The website of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs of the Government of India reveals that a number of companies are incorporated in the name of the sacred Hindu God or Goddess Therefore, naming an institute, institution or organization or a child in the name of a Hindu deity on its face is not a violation of IPC Sections 153A and 295A unless done with malicious intent. / guilty. in the offense category only when committed with guilty intent,” the court order reads.
On Friday, Extra Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangla granted Zubair bail and ordered him to post a personal bond of 50,000 rupees and a bond of a similar amount.
Zubair was convicted by Delhi Police under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and 295A (willful and malicious acts , intended to outrage the religious feelings of any class by insulting their religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Delhi police said.
Earlier on Monday, Zubair had filed a bail application in the Sessions Court seeking bail in the Delhi FIR registered against him in a case over an allegedly objectionable tweet.
On July 2, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) refused to grant bail while sending him to 14 days in police custody.
Metropolitan Chief Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria denied the bail request after hearing submissions from Defense Attorney and Special Prosecutor (SPP) Atul Srivastava for Delhi.
In the order, the court observed that “As the investigation is at an initial stage and in view of the circumstances and the seriousness of the offence, there are no grounds for release on bail. Motion dismissed and the accused is remanded in custody until July 16, 2022.”
Delhi Police had also added three new sections – 201 (for destruction of evidence – formatted phone and deleted tweets), 120-(B) (for criminal conspiracy) of IPC and 35 of Contribution Act 2010 foreign (regulation), in the matter.
The FIR against Zubair was filed on June 20 based on a complaint filed by the Duty Officer of the IFSO Unit of Delhi Police Special Cell which tackles cyber crimes. Zubair was arrested and taken into custody a day after a first information report (FIR) was filed against him based on a Twitter post, which another Twitter handler alleged “had hurt Hindu feelings”.