How can we ask a journalist not to tweet,’ Justice Chandrachud on Zubair’s bail While announcing the bail order, the court also noted that the “instrument of the criminal law has been used to harass and silence the voice of the petitioner which would be apparent from the manner in which he has been made to face successive proceedings”. When Additional Advocate General (AAG) for Uttar Pradesh, arguing in the Supreme Court, said that the court had earlier directed that the petitioner (Mohammed Zubair) should not post tweets, Justice Chandrachud said “It is like telling a lawyer that you should not argue. How can we tell a journalist that he will not write?” asked Justice Chandrachud.
To which, the AAG argued: “He is not a journalist,” adding, “There be a condition that he will not tamper with the evidence.
Justice Chandrachud replied: “If there is any tweets against law, he will be answerable. How can we pass any anticipatory order that someone will not speak. The evidences are in public domain. We can’t say that he won’t tweet again.”
The Supreme Court also ordered that Mohammed Zubair will be released on bail even if any other FIR is lodged against him for the same cause of action.
The Supreme Court granted bail to Mohammed Zubair in all UP Police FIRs and also directed that FIRs in all the cases must be clubbed together and handled by one investigation authority. The Supreme Court also disbanded the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the UP Police.
The court has ordered Mohammed Zubair’s release from jail by 6 pm today.
Mohammed Zubair was arrested on June 27 for allegedly outraging religious sentiments through a four-year-old tweet. In the tweet, Mohammed Zubair shared a screenshot from a popular Hindi movie.
Just before he was arrested, Mohammed Zubair had flagged a video of suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s provocative remarks on Prophet Mohammed, which went viral, triggering violent protests across the country.