India: Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair granted bail by Delhi court

He will remain in judicial custody until he gets bail in the remaining cases


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Published: Fri 15 Jul 2022, 3:38 PM

Last updated: Fri 15 Jul 2022, 4:28 PM

Alt News co-founder and fact-checker Mohammad Zubair who was arrested in the 2018 tweet case was granted bail by Delhi Sessions Patiala House Court on Friday.

Delhi Court said, "Zubair can't leave the country without prior permission of the court" The court granted him bail on a personal bail bond of Rs50,000.

Zubair is currently facing a total of seven cases. He has been granted bail in two cases. He will, however, remain in judicial custody till he gets bail in the remaining cases.Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Friday granted bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a case related to an alleged objectionable tweet case in which he was arrested by Delhi Police last month.

Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangla on Friday granted bail to Zubair and directed him to deposit a personal bail bond of Rs 50,000 and one like amount surety.

He cannot leave the country without prior permission of the court, ASJ Devender Kumar Jangla added. On Thursday, the court had kept the order reserved after the conclusion of the argument of both sides.

Delhi Police special public prosecutor Atul Srivastava, while opposing the bail plea of Mohd Zubair, submitted that the bail should not be granted at this stage as there is a violation of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.

Investigation in the matter is at a good pace without any bias, he said.

Delhi Police said, “Rs 56 lakh were received by the organisation where he (Mohd Zubair) is a director violating FCRA. We gave notice to the Razor pay. There is also a certain forgery in this case which may be done, we are looking at that. The bank’s notice has already been issued.”

The police alleged that it was done in a planned and clever way. “It is not as simple as Zubair’s lawyer has projected,” Delhi Police’s lawyer submitted.

Atul Srivastava submitted before the sessions court that Zubair through tweets hurt the sentiments of a community.

Advocate Vrinda Grover appearing for Zubair denied Delhi Police allegations of foreign funding.

She submitted, “No foreign contribution has been received by me, neither in my personal nor in the organisation’s account. We have invited people to donate to our organisation but it is boldly written that we don’t accept foreign we’re not registered under FCRA. Therefore we don’t take foreign remittances. Our receiving of the donations and funding are very transparent.”

Zubair’s lawyer, however, showed a screenshot of the Alt News portal which is clearly written that ‘donate now’ and was in the public domain. “It is a Non-Profit Organization (NPO) under Pravada Media. He has not received any foreign contribution neither in the form of Indian currency nor in foreign currency,” the lawyer submitted.

Advocate Vrinda Grover further submitted, “The picture in question used in the said from Kissi Se Na Kehna (movie) released in 1983. Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) gave the certificate. I haven’t edited the picture.”

Zubair’s lawyer Vrinda Grover showed the movie clip to the Judge and added that the people of the country were enjoying many freedoms including the freedom to crack a joke. “Actor of the said movie Hrishikesh Mukherjee also did the same,” she said.

Zubair was booked by the Delhi Police under sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Delhi Police said.

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