Delhi Court Grants Bail to Alt News Co-Founder Zubair in Delhi Police Case

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A Delhi court grants bail to Muhammad Zubair.

India Tomorrow Web Desk

NEW DELHI—Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, who has been booked by the Delhi police for allegedly promoting enmity among religious groups through his tweets and for alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA), was granted bail by the Patiala House here on Friday.

However, he will not be released as he is remand of UP police in connection with several FIRs registered against him in Uttar Pradesh.

The bail was granted by Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala on the condition that Zubair will furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety of the same amount. The court has also ordered Zubair not to leave India without court’s permission, the Bar and Bench has reported.

Another condition imposed by the court is that Zubair will not repeat the offence and shall ensure that his tweet or re-tweet or any material posted by him on social media does not even touch boundaries of the offences punishable under Sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code.

Zubair had moved the Patiala House court after his bail application was rejected by the chief metropolitan magistrate. He was sent to 14 days of judicial custody on July 2.

He was initially booked for offences under Sections 153A (promoting enmity between religious groups) and 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Subsequently, offences under Section 35 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 and Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs), 201 (destruction of evidence) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC were added.

The case against Zubair was based on a complaint from a Twitter handle called Hanuman Bhakt alleging that Zubair had tweeted a questionable image with the intention to deliberately insult a Hindu God. His lawyers have maintained that the tweeted image was a screenshot from the 1983 movie Kissi Se Na Kehna.

Zubair has also been booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police in six separate FIRs. He was booked by Sitapur Police in a case of hurting religious sentiments in which the Supreme Court granted him interim bail on July 8. He was remanded to 14-day judicial custody in another FIR registered in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri district.

The Uttar Pradesh government had also formed a special investigation team to investigate the six cases.

Zubair meanwhile has approached the supreme court seeking to quash the six FIRs.

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