Delhi Court defers Alt-News co-founder Mohammed Zubair's bail hearing to July 14

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) A Delhi Court on Tuesday adjourned to July 14 the hearing on a bail plea filed by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a case related to an "objectionable tweet" which allegedly promoted enmity between religious groups.
 
Delhi Court defers Alt-News co-founder Mohammed Zubair's bail hearing to July 14

New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) A Delhi Court on Tuesday adjourned to July 14 the hearing on a bail plea filed by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a case related to an "objectionable tweet" which allegedly promoted enmity between religious groups.

Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala noted that the Supreme Court is hearing a separate case in this regard and accordingly, the matter was adjourned.

During the course of the hearing, Zubair's counsel Vrinda Grover reiterated the arguments, in which she questioned what is so provocative about the 2018 tweet even after four years and also said police is constantly adding improvements to the initial case.

New charges invoked against Zubair are under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act.

Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, the newly-appointed Special Public Prosecutor for Delhi Police, apprised the court that he is in Bhopal and sought time to reply as the apex court is also hearing the matter.

On July 2, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria at the Patiala House Courts rejected the bail plea of Zubair and granted his 14-day custody as sought by the Delhi Police.

"Since the matter is at the initial stage of investigation and given the overall facts and circumstances of the case and nature and gravity of the offences alleged against the accused, no ground for grant of bail is made out," Sarvaria said while dismissing Zubair's bail plea.

As per the FIR, accused Zubair had used a screengrab of an old Hindi movie which showed an image of a hotel, with its board reading 'Hanuman hotel' instead of 'Honeymoon hotel'.

In his tweet, Zubair had written, "BEFORE 2014: Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014: Hanuman Hotel."The Delhi High Court had earlier issued a notice to the Delhi Police on a plea moved by Zubair challenging the Patiala House Courts' order allowing his police custody and seizure of his laptop in connection with the alleged objectionable tweet.

--IANS

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