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Tweet Of Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair Does Not Constitute Any Cognizable Offence: Delhi Police Informs High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
20 May 2022 3:52 PM GMT
Tweet Of Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair Does Not Constitute Any Cognizable Offence: Delhi Police Informs High Court
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The Delhi Police has informed the Delhi High Court that the tweet made by Co-Founder of Alt News, Mohammed Zubair in response to a twitter user in August 2020 for which an FIR was registered against him, does not constitute any cognizable offence.

Stating so, the police filed ae status report in a plea moved by Zubair seeking the quashing of the FIR lodged against him on a complaint by a twitter user, Jagdish Singh.

The case pertains to a tweet posted by Zubair, sharing the profile picture of Singh which had him standing with his minor granddaughter, and asking -after blurring the face of the minor girl - if it was appropriate for Singh to use derogatory language in replies while using a profile picture figuring his granddaughter.

"Hello Jagdish Singh. Does your cute grand daughter know about your part time job of abusing people on social media? I suggest you to change your profile pic"- this was the tweet of Zubair.

In the light of this tweet, Jagdish Singh filed multiple FIRs against Zubair, accusing him of causing cyber sexual harassment of his grand-daughter. In the FIR lodged in Delhi, offences under section 509B of IPC, Sections 67 and 67A of the Information Technology Act are invoked against Zubair.

While adding that on May 13, 2022, Zubair had joined investigation and was thereafter interviewed in the case, the status report states that he had also admitted to the details of his Twitter handle, Email Id and phone number.

"The tweet in question of Mohd. Zubair does not constitute any cognizable offence," the status report added.

The report further stated that one of the followers of Zubair posted offensive replies to Jagdish Singh. Zubair stated that he has over 4.6 lakh followers in Twitter and does not personally know all of them. He added that he has lost the mobile phone from which the tweet was made and has made a complaint before the Bangalore police regarding it and assured the police to provide a copy of the same. The police further stated that the follower of Zubair who made the offensive reply has also joined investigation and his phone was given for forensic examination.

The Delhi Police stated that further investigation of the case is being conducted on high priority.

Zubair was granted interim protection from arrest vide order dated September 9, 2020 by a single judge bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna which had also directed the Delhi Government and the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Cyber Cell to file a status report on the investigation carried out in this case.

It had also directed Twitter India to expedite the request filed by the Cyber Cell of Delhi Police.

While the matter was taken up on May 17 by a single judge bench of Justice Chandra Dhari Singh, the same was listed for further hearing on August 8, at joint request of the parties.

The Court however added that the interim order will continue till then.

Zubair is also aggrieved by the fact that the copies of the said FIRs have not been provided to him. In addition to this, he is also assailing the decision of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) of summoning Twitter India for taking action against Zubair on the basis of a frivolous complaint filed by Jadgish Singh.

Case Title: MOHAMMED ZUBAIR v. STATE OF GNCT & ORS.

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