SC Says No 'Precipitative Action' Against Md Zubair In UP FIRs, Posts Matter For July 20

 

The Supreme Court was hearing Alt News co-founder Mohd Zubair's plea seeking to quash six FIRs lodged against him in Uttar Pradesh.

The Supreme Court on Monday posted for hearing on July 20 the plea of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair seeking interim bail in FIRs filed against him in Uttar Pradesh for allegedly outraging religious feelings. The Supreme Court said no precipitative action should be taken against Md Zubair till then, PTI reported.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna also issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on the plea of Md Zubair seeking interim bail, quashing all six FIRs registered against him in Uttar Pradesh and also challenging the constitution of Special Investigation Team (SIT).

"In the meantime, we direct that no precipitative steps shall be taken against the petitioner in connection with these five FIRs….," the bench said. Zubair has already got bail from the Supreme Court in a sixth case in UP. However, he remains in jail due to other FIRs.

Separate FIRs have been lodged against Md Zubair in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, and Hathras districts on charges of allegedly hurting religious feelings, making sarcastic remarks on news anchors, disrespecting Hindu gods, and inflammatory posts.

Earlier in the day, Zubair through his advocate Vrinda Grover sought an urgent listing of his plea in the top court seeking quashing of the FIRs lodged in UP.

A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana took note of the submissions of Zubair's lawyer that the petitioner, a fact checker and journalist, had been facing a slew of FIRs and his plea needed an urgent hearing. The matter was then listed before the bench of Justice DY Chandrachud.

Last week, a Delhi court granted bail to Mohammed Zubair in a 2018 tweet case, observing that the Hindu religion was "one of the oldest" and "most tolerant".

As per the FIR, Zubair had used a screengrab of an old Hindi movie that showed an image of a hotel, with its board reading 'Hanuman hotel' instead of 'Honeymoon hotel'. In his tweet, Zubair had written, "BEFORE 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel."

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