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Allahabad HC Refuses To Quash FIR Against Zubair for Tweet on ‘Hatemongers’

The Hindutva leaders have been booked in hate speech cases for making statements against Muslims.

Updated
India
3 min read
Allahabad HC Refuses To Quash FIR Against Zubair for Tweet on ‘Hatemongers’
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The Allahabad High Court dismissed a petition by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair, who challenged an FIR registered against him for a tweet where he allegedly called three Hindutva leaders ‘hatemongers,’ Live Law reported. The leaders in question are Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni, and Anand Swaroop.

All three leaders in question have been booked in hate speech cases over the past few months for making inflammatory statements about Muslims.

Most recently, Ghaziabad Police issued notice to Narsinghanand following his statement that he would go to Delhi's Jama Masjid to tell people that all the things that ex-BJP national spokesperson Nupur Sharma said regarding Prophet Muhammad are there in the Quran and the Hadith, and that she did not say anything wrong.
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While Muni allegedly threatened to kidnap and rape Muslim women on 2 April, Swami Anand Swaroop, a member of the Dharam Sansad core committee was one of the key organisers of the Prayagraj Dharam Sansad event, where there were multiple instances of hate speech and calls for anti-Muslim violence.

Zubair was booked by the UP Police earlier during the month under Section 295A of the Indian Penal Code (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage reli­gious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or reli­gious beliefs) and section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.

In an attempt to quash the FIR, the Alt news co-founder moved the Allahabad HC and claimed that his tweet did not insult or attempt to insult a class’ religious beliefs. Moreover, Zubair submitted that the FIR against him was with the oblique motive of harassment, making it liable to be quashed, a report by Live Law added.

However, Zubair’s plea was dismissed by the bench of Justice Ajai Kumar Shrivastava and Justice Ramesh Sinha. The court noted the premature nature of the matter and lack of an investigation, except some preliminary steps taken during registration.

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“The evidence has to be gathered after a thorough investigation and placed before the court concerned on the basis of which alone the court concerned can come to a conclusion one way or the other on the allegations levelled by the petitioner,” the bench noted, according to Live Law.

“If the allegations are bereft of truth and made maliciously, the investigation will say so," the court stressed.

The FIR against Zubair was lodged by Bhagwan Sharan, Sitapur district head of the Rashtriya Hindu Sher Sena, a Hindutva organisation, who alleged that Zubair’s tweet hurt his religious sentiments.

The FIR noted that on 27 May, Sharan saw a tweet by Zubair on Twitter on which he used the term “hatemongers” against managers of a revered religious place. Moreover, it added that Zubair also insulted Yati Narsinghanand and Anand Swaroop on Twitter.

On May 27, Zubair shared a clip of a prime time TV debate on the standoff at the Gyanvapi Mosque. Zubair’s tweet read:

“Why do we need hatemongers like Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati or Mahant Bajrang Muni or Anand Swaroop to arrange a Dharam Sansad [religious conclave] to speak against a community and a religion when we already have anchors who can do much better job from news studios.”

On 1 June, an FIR was lodged against Zubair and his tweet.

(With inputs from Live Law)

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Topics:  Nupur Sharma   Allahabad HC   Alt News 

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