Delhi ( New Delhi)

Bail for Zubair in Delhi case, court says need dissent for a healthy democracy

Additional Sessions Judge Devendra Kumar Jangla granted bail to Zubair observing that “democracy can neither function nor prosper unless people go out and share their views”.

Noting that a “voice of dissent is essential for a healthy democracy” and that political parties are open to criticism, a Delhi court has granted bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair, who was allegedly accused of religious sentiments. was arrested for hurting and promoting enmity through his tweets in 2018.

Additional Sessions Judge Devendra Kumar Jangla granted bail to Zubair observing that “democracy can neither function nor prosper unless people go out and share their views”.

Zubair is currently facing a total of seven cases. He has got bail in two cases. In the remaining cases, he will remain in judicial custody till he is granted bail. In the present case, he has to furnish a surety bond of Rs 50,000 along with a surety of like amount.

Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava, opposing Zubair’s bail, had said that he had written the words before 2014 and post 2014 to indicate a political party in his tweet as the year was 2014 when “Modi came”. And this was done “to provoke”. People on the other side create more ill-will”.

To this, the judge said that in Indian democracy, political parties are open to their criticism.

“Political parties are not running away from the public to face the criticism of their policies. A voice of dissent is essential for a healthy democracy. Therefore, criticism of any political party is only under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, caste, place of birth, residence) and 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, hurting the religious sentiments of any class). for implementation) is not appropriate. By insulting the IPC’s religion or religious beliefs), the court said.

The court emphasized that naming any institution after a Hindu deity was not violative of the provisions invoked by the police as Hinduism, being one of the oldest religions in the world, was tolerant and so were its followers.

“Hinduism is so tolerant that its followers proudly name their institution/organization/facilities after their holy god or goddess. A large number of Hindus proudly name their children after their holy god and goddess. Therefore, naming any institution, facility or organization, or child (a) in the name of a Hindu deity, is not a contravention of sections 153A and 295A of the IPC, unless it is done with a malicious/culpable intention,” the court said.

The court also agreed with the arguments of Zubair’s lawyers, who said that the still image taken from Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s film ‘Kisi Se Na Kehna’ was certified by the Central Board of Film Certification and no complaint has been received to date. The scene is hurt. Feelings of a particular community in the society.

The judge also considered the fact that the police have to date not recorded the statement of the anonymous Twitter account user who flagged off Zubair’s tweet, nor recorded the statement of any other person who, while granting bail, had not recorded the statement of any other person felt hurt. The court said that the police should investigate by the principles laid down in the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The court also said that the investigation was documentary in nature and further interrogation was not required as he has already spent five days in police custody.

Further, Zubair’s lawyers had argued that he had taken all safeguards to prevent receipt of any foreign contribution. The court, after perusing the material put up by his lawyers, observed that the accused had “shown due diligence” as per Section 39 of the FCRA.

The court observed that “democracy can neither function nor prosper unless people go out and share their views”. It emphasized that “Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India gives freedom of speech and expression to its citizen”.

“Undoubtedly, free speech is the proper foundation of a democratic society. Free exchange of ideas, unrestricted dissemination of information, dissemination of knowledge, dissemination of different viewpoints, debate and formation and expression of their views, There are basic indicators of a free society,” the court said.

The court said that this “freedom makes it possible for the people to formulate their views and opinions on an appropriate basis and to exercise their social, economic and political rights in an informed manner in a free society”.

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