“Tell Lawyer Not To Argue?”: Court’s 10 Quotes On Fact-Checker M Zubair

The Supreme Court granted bail to fact-checker Mohammed Zubair in all the cases against him

New Delhi:
The Supreme Court today ordered the release of fact-checker Mohammed Zubair, who was arrested last month for tweets that the complainants alleged hurt religious sentiments of Hindus. Mr Zubair should be released by 6 pm today, the Supreme Court said.

Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. On Uttar Pradesh government’s plea to bar Mr Zubair from tweeting, Justice DY Chandrachud said, “It’s like telling a lawyer to not argue any further. How can you tell a journalist he cannot write? If he does something that violates the law then he is answerable to law. But how can we take anticipatory action against a citizen when he is raising his voice? Every citizen is answerable for what he does in public or private. We will not place any such order.

  2. “If he does something that violates the law, then he is answerable to law. But how can we take anticipatory action against a citizen when he is raising his voice?”

  3. “Having found that he has been subjected to a fairly sustained probe by Delhi Police we see no reason to prevent his liberty further.”

  4. “It’s a set principle of law that power of arrests must be pursued sparingly. In the present case, no justification to keep him in continued detention.”

  5. “Fairness to the petitioner would require that entirely of the probe and FIRs should be clubbed. The overlap in the FIRs emanating as they do from tweets of petitioner could only go to empathise the need for consolidated probe.”

  6. “All directions on clubbing of FIRs apply to any new FIRs as well. Petitioner will be entitled to interim bail granted by this court in all existing as well as all new FIRs with regard to the same tweets.”

  7. “The instrument of criminal law has been used to harass and silence the voice of the petitioner, which would be apparent in the manner in which he has faced multiple proceedings.”

  8. “The petitioner has an apprehension about the safety and security of his life. The petitioner submitted that the tweets were not derogatory towards any religion.”

  9. “The investigation into the FIRs shall stand transferred from UP Police to Delhi Police Special Cell. Special Investigation Team by UP Police constituted on July 10 shall stand disbanded.”

  10. “Petitioner entitled to interim bail. Bail bonds to be presented before Patiala House Court. Immediately after that Tihar Jail will ensure he is released from custody by 6 pm today.”

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