Can Those Who Don't Toe the Govt's Line Be Jailed Like Zubair?

If the police, govt, courts, and common people forget their responsibilities, then we must ask – Janab, Aise Kaise?

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Video Producer: Mamta

Video Editor: Rajbir Singh

Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair walked out of the Tihar Jail on 20 July after the Supreme Court granted him interim bail in all six FIRs registered against him. He was arrested by the Delhi Police on 27 June on the basis of an unnamed person’s complaint over a tweet that he shared in 2018 about a movie that was released in 1983.

Zubair had tweeted a still from the movie, Kissi Se Na Kehna, in which a signboard of a hotel was changed from 'Honeymoon' to 'Hanuman'.

He was booked under IPC Sections 153 (promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and 259A (outraging religious feelings of any class).

While delivering the verdict, the Supreme Court bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant, and Justice AS Bopanna said, “we dissolve the SIT formed by the UP government to investigate Zubair’s tweet.”

Zubair Not the Only One Targeted

But Zubair is not the only one who has been targeted in this manner. Journalist Vinod Dua had criticised the COVID-19 lockdown, and Himachal Pradesh Police charged him with sedition.

In his case, the Supreme Court had said, “Even if someone criticised the government with harsh words, you cannot charge him with sedition.”

Dr Kafeel Khan, a lecturer at the BRD Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, was accused of delivering an inflammatory speech against the CAA and NRC. He was charged under the National Safety Act (NSA) and kept in jail for seven months.

Hence, the pertinent questions are – for how long will innocent journalists and artists be targeted for speaking up?

Why are lower courts not giving the right verdicts?

Why aren't courts acting against discriminatory police? If police, government, court, and common people forget their responsibilities, then we are forced to ask – Janab, Aise Kaise?

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