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2018 Tweet Case: Delhi Court Grants Bail to Alt News Co-Founder Mohd Zubair

The fact-checking journalist is not required for any custodial interrogation, said the court, while directing him not to leave the country without its prior permission.


Image Source:Twitter @zoo_bear

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a case related to an objectionable tweet he had posted in 2018 allegedly against a Hindu deity, saying the accused is not required for any custodial interrogation.

Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala granted the relief to Zubair on a bail bond of Rs 50,000 and one surety of like amount and directed him not to leave the country without its prior permission.

The court also directed the accused not to repeat the offence and to ensure that his tweet or retweet, or any material on social media content is not even touching the boundaries of the offence punishable under Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of IPC.

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the fact that the accused is not required for any custodial interrogation, I am inclined to allow the present bail moved on behalf of application applicant/accused Mohammed Zubair. The applicant is admitted to bail,” the judge said.

The court also directed Zubair to surrender his passport to the Investigating Agency within three days of his release from jail.

The court also said that the accused “shall not tamper with evidence nor otherwise indulge in any act or omission that is unlawful or that would prejudice the proceedings in the pending matter.”

“The applicant/accused will join the investigation as and when called by the SHO (station house officer)/ IO (investigating officer) to do so,” the judge said.

A magisterial court had on July 2 dismissed his bail plea and sent him to 14-day judicial custody (JC) in the case, citing the nature and gravity of the offences against the accused and observing that the matter was at the initial stage of the investigation.

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