On Thursday, Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of AltNews, filed a petition with the Supreme Court asking that six FIRs filed against him in Uttar Pradesh be dismissed. Advocacy deposit by him disputes the FIRs recorded at Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad and two at Hathras. The petition also challenges the formation of the SIT by the Uttar Pradesh Police.
According to reports, the Uttar Pradesh government has formed a two-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate six cases that have been filed against the already arrested Alt News co-founder, Mohammad Zubair. The SIT was led by IG Preetinder Singh and DIG Amit Kumar Verma was also brought into the team.
Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair approaches Supreme Court to seek quashing of six FIRs filed against him in Uttar Pradesh
(file photo) pic.twitter.com/ylziDyMQxv
— ANI (@ANI) July 14, 2022
The SIT is to investigate six cases which were filed in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad, Hathras and Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. Out of the total six cases, two cases are filed in Hathras district while one case each is recorded in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad and Muzaffarnagar. Zubair is being held in Tihar Jail after he was arrested on June 27 by Delhi police as part of an FIR filed against him for offending religious feelings through derogatory tweets targeting Hindus.
Note that Mohammed Zubair was given temporary bail in the Sitapur case on July 8, 2022, by a vacation bench consisting of Judges Indira Banerjee and JK Maheshwari. The bench had made it clear that the relief was subject to the requirement that he refrain from posting further tweets, that the investigation into the FIR had not been delayed, and that the temporary reprieve did not extend to no other case against him that was pending. In addition, the provisional bond in the Sitapur case was renewed on July 13 by a court presided over by Judge DY Chandrachud, and his request to have the FIR canceled is due to be heard in September.
However, a decision on his bail request in a case involving a 2018 tweet that offended religious sensibilities was postponed until Friday in Delhi. Lawyer Vrinda Grover, who represents Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, told a Delhi court on Thursday that investigating the case did not require her to be in police custody because any investigation is electronic and that any further restriction on his freedom would violate a Supreme Court ruling. Meanwhile, Special Prosecutor Atul Srivastava argued that Rs 56 lakh was credited to Zubair’s account via Razorpay.
The court was considering Zubair’s bail request in a case involving a 2018 tweet that allegedly offended religious feelings. “We have given notice to Razorpay. They provided UPI. Through NPCI we can get bank details. There is some tampering also in this case that can be done, we are looking at that. Bank notices have already been published,” Srivastava added. When the court asked Srivastava why Zubair’s detention was necessary, he replied, “People who are Gumnaam (anonymous) will remain Gumnaam if he comes out. We have done our best to contact them. The court then reserved the order in the case for Friday at 2 p.m.
Zubair allegedly received Rs 56 lakhs in his bank accounts from foreign sources, and in violation of the FCRA. Today in UP, a 7th FIR was also filed against him at UP’s Chandauli.