16 Sep 2022 8:08 AM GMT
The Delhi Police has told the High Court that Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair's devices, which were seized during investigation in connection with 2018 tweet case, are under analysis with the Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini, however, he can approach the lower court for their release on superdari on completion of the analysis.The city Police has further said that the data is to...
The Delhi Police has told the High Court that Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair's devices, which were seized during investigation in connection with 2018 tweet case, are under analysis with the Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini, however, he can approach the lower court for their release on superdari on completion of the analysis.
The city Police has further said that the data is to be recovered and analyzed from the seized devices with respect to 2018 tweet and "other similar natured tweets" done by Mohd Zubair, if retrieved.
The Police has thus sought dismissal of Zubair's petition which prays that any device or document seized by the Delhi Police, being beyond the allegation in FIR, be forthwith restored to him.
In its reply, the Delhi Police has said that the 2018 tweet post of Mohd. Zubair containing picture and words against a "particular religious community" are "highly provocative and done deliberately" which are more than sufficient to incite feeling of hatred among people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquillity in the society.
"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 affidavit adds.
The Delhi High Court had sought the response of city police in the plea on July 27.
In a connected development, the Supreme Court had granted bail to Zubair in all the 6 FIRs registered by the Uttar Pradesh police in different districts over his tweets and clubbed those cases with the Delhi FIR.
The Apex Court concluded that the criminal justice system was "relentlessly employed against" the fact-checking journalist and that he was trapped in a "vicious cycle of the criminal process".
Zubair was arrested under Section 153A (Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, etc.) and Section 295 (Injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code.
Later, sec. 295A along with sec. 201 and 120B of Indian Penal Code and sec. 35 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 was invoked against Zubair.
As per Delhi Police, the case was registered after a complaint was received from a twitter handle, wherein it was alleged that Zubair had tweeted a "questionable image with a purpose to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion."
According to the FIR, Zubair's tweet from 2018 on the renaming of a 'Honeymoon Hotel' after Hindu god Hanuman was an insult of their religion.
The FIR alleged that the words and the picture used by Zubair against a particular religious community were highly provocative and more than sufficient to incite feeling of hatred amongst people which can be detrimental for maintenance of public tranquillity in the society.
After the Delhi police FIR, Zubair was taken into custody by the UP Police in relation to 6 FIRs registered against him over other tweets. The Supreme Court has granted interim bail to Zubair in one case (Sitapur Police FIR), which is registered over a tweet terming Yati Narsinghanand, Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop "hate-mongers".
Case Title: Mohammed Zubair v. State