The Supreme Court on Friday (8 July) granted interim bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in the case registered against him by the Uttar Pradesh police (UP Police) in Sitapur for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
The vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari granted interim bail for five days to Zubair and posted the case for further hearing before a regular bench, reports Bar and Bench.
UP police had registered an FIR against Zubair for a tweet in which he allegedly called 3 Hindu seers- Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop as 'Hate mongers'.
The SC has ordered Zubair not to leave the jurisdiction of Sitapur Magistrate's court and not to post any fresh tweets on the issue related to the case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the apex court that grant of interim bail would not entitle Zubair to a release as he is in judicial custody of a Delhi court in connection with another case.
SC said that its order applies only to the Sitapur case and not to any other pending case against Zubair.
"The order of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) July 7, 2022, Sitapur be translated into English and filed in court along with order rejecting the prayer of bail. In the mean petitioner shall be granted interim order of bail for a period of 5 days on conditions to be imposed by JMFC," the Supreme Court directed.
"We are making it very clear, that this (interim bail) is in relation to FIR dated 1 June 2022 of Sitapur (Uttar Pradesh) and not any other FIR against the petitioner. The petitioner shall not tamper electronic evidence in Bangalore (his residence) or anywhere else," the order stated, reports LiveLaw.
It should be noted that Zubair is in Judicial custody in connection with a FIR registered by the Delhi Police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity through his tweet made in 2018, on the renaming of a 'Honeymoon Hotel' after Hindu god Hanuman.
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