Delhi Police to HC: Alt News Co-Founder’s Phone Yet to be Released, Contains Provocative Tweets to be Probed Ahead

Mohammed Zubair Law Insider

Priyanka Singh

Published on: September 17, 2022 at 17:18 IST

The Delhi Police, while seeking dismissal of Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair’s plea, has submitted that his seized devices are yet to be released as they are still under probe in connection with the 2018 tweet case, and that, he can apply for the custody of devices on superdari (Sec. 451 CrPC) once the investigation is completed.

The Police clarified to the High Court that the devices contained data that reflected “similar natured tweets” to that of the 2018 tweet. The tweets, as stated by the police, are targeted against a “particular religious community” and are done deliberately while being highly provocative, disturbing public tranquility.

The City Police was asked for a clarification by the High Court on July 27.

The affidavit read, “That, during Police Custody remand, one laptop, two invoices and one hard disk have been recovered from the residence (Bangalore) of accused Mohd. Zubair on the basis of disclosure statement which are admissible under Section 27 of Indian Evidence Act, which are to be looked upon at the time of trail. Quashing/ setting aside PC orders by Ld. CMM/ Patiala House Court will make the recovery inadmissible.”

The Supreme Court had granted bail to Zubair in all the 6 FIRs filed against him in different districts of Uttar Pradesh over his tweets, along with FIRs registered in Delhi.

The top court finished stating that the justice system was “relentlessly employed against” the prudent journalist and was being trapped in the nexus of the judicial processes.

Background –

Muhammed Zubair was arrested under Sections 153A and 295 of the Indian Penal Code. Later, the Sections 295A with Section 201 and 120B of the IPC and Section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 were imposed on Zubair.

The Delhi Police submitted that the case was registered after receiving a complaint from a twitter handle, alleging that Zubair tweeted a “questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.”

As per the FIR, his tweet from 2018 renaming ‘Honeymoon Hotel’ after the Hindu God Hanuman was an insult to their religion.

The FIR had put allegations claiming grave provocation and inciting violence and hatred amongst people on Zubair.

Post the FIR, Zubair was taken into custody by the Uttar Pradesh Police in relation to the 6 FIRs, where the Supreme Court granted him bail in only one case of Sitapur Police FIR, which was against a tweet labeling Bajrang Muni, Anand Swaroop and Yati Narsinghanand as ‘hate mongers’.

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