SC Extends Alt News Co-founder Zubair’s Bail, Protection On Arrest Till Next Hearing

As a result of the FIR filed against fact checker journalist and Alt news co-founder Mohammed Zubair in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh, the Supreme Court has extended his interim bail in the case and the next hearing will be held on September 7, Zubair’s petition to quash the FIR. Additionally, until the next hearing. The Supreme Court has also extended protection from his arrest until the next hearing.

After posting footage of three right-wing leaders who are each facing separate hate speech charges, Zubair was charged with hurting religious emotions and an FIR was lodged against him in Sitapur, UP. Though the Supreme Court had already granted him the protection from arrest in the case, it also directed Zubair to stay within the Sitapur court’s jurisdiction and not to tweet or obliterate any evidence. 

Alt news co-founder Mohammed Zubair now has 3 cases against him, one in Delhi while two in Uttar Pradesh (Sitapur and Lakhimpur Kheri). Zubair was arrested by the Delhi police on June 17 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments by a tweet posted by him in 2017. 

Zubair’s petition for quashing the Sitapur FIR was heard by a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and A S Bopanna, who were informed by the state’s attorney, Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, that Zubair had already been granted interim bail by the court on July 8 and that the state would need more time to submit its counter-affidavit.

Apart from extending the interim bail till further orders, the Supreme Court also granted four-week time to the UP police to file its counter.

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