Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair was refused bail by a Delhi court on Saturday, but not before several controversial events took place before the order was issued.
Metropolitan Court Chief Justice Snigdha Sarvaria placed the order at around 1 pm and the order was issued after 7 pm.
One of the reasons for denying Zubair’s bail application was that the police added violations to the Foreign Contributions (Regulations) Act 2010.
“Arguing that Zubair’s tweet is from 2018 and the Hindi film ‘Kisi Se Na Kehna’, and therefore no offense under 153A or 295A was established, does not help the defendant because Article 35 of the Foreign Contributions Regulations Act has also been added and an investigation is ongoing,” the order read.
Here are the reasons were given by the judge for dismissing the plea:
Subject to the notice of Section 41A
Zubair argued that the Section 41A notice was served half an hour before the arrest and that compliance with Section 41A was on paper.
A Section 41A notice was issued on June 24. Then they engaged me in the investigation (in another case),” Grover said.
She was referring to the fact that Zubair was questioned by the Delhi police in another case for which he received protection from the Delhi High Court, and that he was summoned under the pretext of investigation. in this case before being arrested. arrested in this case. PINE TREE.
However, the Court said the matter was brought before the Magistrates’ Court on June 27 and it was dismissed and the Section 41A notice was found to be free of defects due to the defendant’s failure to cooperate with the investigation. investigate.
Zubair’s cell phone he tweeted on was stolen
Zubair has said that the tweet in question was made from a cell phone stolen in 2021, and thus seizing his current device is illogical.
“My phone was stolen by someone on a bicycle. I filed a complaint in 2021. This is the phone I was using in 2018. This is the phone on file. No criticism against me for reformatting the phone. The phone they (the police) took (now), I didn’t use in 2018. The attorney of Zubair was lost Vrinda Grover said.
As nothing was found in the records which suggest that mobile phone was lost of the defendant’s and now the apology has been made as the court said.
When entering the mobile phone, current laptop
Regarding Zubair’s argument that the seizure of his laptop and mobile phone was an invasion of his privacy, the Court held that the defendant’s original seized phone did not contain any data. data and consistent with the defendant’s testimony about the use of cell phones and laptops to tweet, search warrants and arrest warrants were issued.
Regarding the issue of sealing electronic devices, the court noted that this was the wrong step because an investigation into the data and electronic equipment seized during the execution of the search warrant is ongoing.
In the photo tweeted is a screenshot from a movie
One of Zubiar’s main claims is that the tweet in question is from 2018 and that the photo being tweeted is from a movie “Kissi Se Na Kehna ” which is freely available in the public domain.
However, the Court said that this would not help the respondent because FCRA provisions were also invoked.
“Even if not, at this stage, since the matter is at an early stage of the investigation, this Court will not make any orders about which parts are in the process of drafting and which are not, ” according to the law.
Therefore, the Court considers that the case is at the initial stage of investigation and has considered all the facts and circumstances of the case as well as the nature and seriousness of the offenses against the defendant. the report should have no grounds to grant bail.
Attorneys Vrinda Grover and Soutik Banerjee represent Zubair.
Special Prosecutor (SPP) Atul Shrivastava represents Delhi Police.