The Delhi Police have added new charges against Mohammed Zubair of Alt News for the Enforcement Directorate to launch a money-laundering probe. This was after Zubair was produced before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria on Saturday. The new charges added against him are Sections 120B and 201 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA). The FCRA violation means that the Enforcement Directorate can step in to probe money laundering charges.
SPP Atul Shiravastava told the court that the Delhi Police wanted 14 days of custody to carry out their probe. Shrivastava, according to Livelaw, said, “He came to office of special cell with phone. When it was analyzed, it was found that prior to that day, he has been using another sim. When he received notice, he took out the same and put it in new mobile. Please see how clever the person is.”
Shrivastava informed the court that the Delhi Police had found donations received from the company that runs Alt News came from Pakistan and Syria. “He (Zubair) is Director of Pravda (company running Alt News),” SPP Shrivastava said.
SPP Atul Srivastava: He came to office of special cell with phone. When it was analyzed, it was found that prior to that day, he has been using another sim. When he received notice, he took out the same and put it in new mobile. Please see how clever the person is.
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) July 2, 2022
Zubair’slawyer Vrinda Grover said, “It’s not a crime to be director of a company.”
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.
His lawyer said that Zubair had merely reproduced a scene from a film, but Shrivastava highlighted that it was ‘not a simple case of choosing a scene from a movie.’ “Particularly of using words before and after 2014,” Shrivastava said.
CMM Sarvaria said that the order will be delivered after the lunch.