Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair had challenged the legality of his police remand in a case related to a tweet he had posted in 2018.

File image of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair wearing sunglasses and a grey jacket
news Court Friday, July 01, 2022 - 17:52

The Delhi High Court on Friday, July 1 sought the stand of the Delhi police on a plea by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair challenging the legality of his police remand in a case related to a tweet he had posted in 2018. Justice Sanjeev Narula issued notice on the petition and granted two weeks to the investigating agency to file its response to the petition which challenges the legality and proprietary of the trial court's June 28 order granting four days of custody of Zubair to the police.

The judge listed the case for further hearing on July 27 and said that proceedings before the trial court would continue without being influenced by the present proceedings. The court noted that the remand order would expire on July 2 and said, "The police remand order is for four days. I will have to hear the other side. I will issue notice."

Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on June 27 under charges of hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets from 2018 after an anonymous user flagged it to Delhi police. He was summoned in a 2020 POCSO case for which he had protection from arrest, but was arrested in a different FIR registered on June 20. He was then sent to one-day police custody by the trial court on the same day. The next day, his custody was extended by another four days by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria. 

As per the trial court's order, Zubair would be next produced before it on July 2 upon the expiry of the four days of police remand. 

The Delhi police on Thursday brought Zubair to Bengaluru and conducted searches at his home. The police team collected electronic evidence, including his laptop and hard disks from his residence. 

The case against Zubair was registered under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language, etc.) and 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The police had said the case was registered on the complaint of a Twitter user who accused him of hurting religious sentiments. The Twitter user, who went by the name ‘Hanuman Bhakt,’ has now deleted his account

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