A Delhi court on Saturday rejected the bail plea of Mohammed Zubair of Alt News and sent him to 14 days of judicial custody. The judge said in her order that the investigation in Mohammed Zubair’s case was at an initial stage and there was every likelihood that police custody remand would be required.
According to a news flash by Livelaw, the Patiala House Court said that issue with respect to the sealing of Zubair’s electronic devices could not be decided at this stage ‘since the investigation qua the data and the electronic devices seized during the execution of search warrants are still being looked into.’
Referring to Zubair’s lawyer’s argument that he had merely tweeted a still from a Hindi film, the judge said that the argument was of ‘no help to Mohammed Zubair as Section 35 FCRA has also been invoked and investigation qua it is pending.’
Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police last week for a tweet posted in 2018. The Delhi Police had said that his tweet intended to hurt the communal harmony in the country. Taking a still from a 1983 Bollywood film, Zubair had tweeted, “Before 214, Honeymoon Hotel. After 2014, Honuman Hotel.” He had ended his tweet by using the hashtag #Sanskari Hotel.
Earlier on Saturday, Zubair’s lawyer had accused the Delhi Police of leaking the news of his bail rejection to a section of media even before the judge passed the order. The Delhi Police officer, who had shared the news in a WhatsApp group, had later retracted the news saying that he had wrongly heard the judge. Several reporters, who had flashed the news based on the information shared by the Delhi Police officer, had later deleted the tweets.