SC To Hear Mohammad Zubair’s Plea On July 20

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SC To Hear Mohammad Zubair’s Plea On July 20

| Updated: July 18, 2022 17:24

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear Mohammad Zubair’s plea seeking to quash the six FIRs against him in Uttar Pradesh on July 20. The court has also ordered that no precipitative action must be taken against the Alt News co-founder in connection to the said FIRs. The order was issued by a bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana after reviewing the application where Zubair’s lawyer had called for an urgent hearing of the plea.

Two cases have been filed against Zubair in Hathras and one case each in Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Ghaziabad, and Muzaffarnagar on charges of allegedly hurting religious feelings, and making insulting comments against Hindu gods.

Uttar Pradesh government has set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate all these cases against Zubair. However, Zubair has challenged the constitution of the SIT, claiming that the subject matter that the team would be investigating in the said FIRs is the same as that being probed by the Delhi Police special cell.

Journalist Mohammed Zubair, one of the founders of fact-checking website AltNews was arrested on June 27 by the Intelligence Fusion & Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police. The arrest was based on a complaint by a man alleging Zubair hurt his religious sentiments, referring to a Tweet the journalist shared in 2018. Since then, the Delhi Police has added new charges of criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence against Zubair.

Mohammed Zubair and the former software engineer Pratik Sinha founded Alt News, India’s non-profit fact-checking website, which was launched in 2017. When Nupur Sharma controversy began earlier this year, Zubair came into the limelight after he shared video clips of Sharma’s debate where she made insulting remarks against Prophet Muhammad. His recent arrest has been condemned by the international community, who believe it is a violation of freedom of speech.

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