NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered an immediate release of Alt News co-founder Mohommad Zubair on interim bail in all cases registered against him in Uttar Pradesh.
A three-member bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said there was “no justification” to keep him in custody and order authorities to release him by 6 pm on Tuesday.
“No justification to keep him in continued custody and subject him to endless rounds of custody,” the bench, also comprising Justice Surya Kant, and AS Bopanna, said.
The top court transferred all the FIRs from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi and observed that a “consolidated” investigation is required.
The fact-checker will be released on a bail bond of Rs 20,000 before the chief metropolitan magistrate of the Delhi’s Patiala House Court.
The UP government’s special investigation team (SIT), constituted to investigate at least six different cases registered in different districts, is redundant and stands disbanded, it ordered.
The order regarding the transfer of FIRs to Delhi will be applicable to cases registered in other states and to any future complaints him as well.
Appearing for Zubair, senior lawyer Vrinda Grover told the court that all the FIRs against him in UP are over the same tweet posted by him. She also submitted that there is a constant threat to his life.
An FIR each was registered against Zubair in New Delhi, and UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Ghaziabad, Muzaffarnagar, and Hathras.
He was arrested by the Delhi Police on June 27 under Sections 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Later, Section 201 and 120B of the IPC and Section 35 of the FCRA were added for allegedly receiving undisclosed foreign donations.
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