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AltNews co-founder Zubair’s bail plea deffered by a Delhi court

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Delhi’s Patiala House Court deferred the hearing on Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair for July 14. This came after the Delhi Police counsel sought time to make argueargumentsments in the matter and requested the court to take up the matter day after tomorrow.

Advocate Vrinda Grover opposed saying postponing the matter for two days is unfair. “Postponing the matter for 2 days is unfair. The matter may be taken up tomorrow, if possible,” said Grover. Additional session Judge Devender Kumar Jangala of Patiala House Court on Tuesday deferred the hearing for July 14, 2022. Zubair was booked by Delhi Police under sections 153A (promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Delhi Police said.

Earlier on Monday, Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair moved a bail petition in Sessions Court seeking bail in the Delhi FIR registered against him in a case related to an alleged objectionable tweet.

On July 2, 2022, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) refused to grant bail while sending him to 14-days of judicial custody. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria dismissed the bail petition after hearing the submission of the defence counsel and special public prosecutor (SPP) Atul Srivastava for Delhi. The court observed in the order that since the investigation is at the initial stage and in view of the circumstances and gravity of the offence, no ground is made out for bail.

Application dismissed and the accused is remanded to judicial custody till July 16, 2022. Delhi Police had also added three new Sections – 201 (for the destruction of evidence – formatted phone and deleted tweets), 120-(B) (for criminal conspiracy) of IPC and 35 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, in the matter.

The FIR against Zubair was lodged on June 20 based on the complaint filed by the Duty Officer of the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell which tackles cyber crimes. Zubair was arrested and sent to one day of police custody after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against him based on a Twitter posting, which another Twitter handle alleged “hurt Hindu sentiments.”

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