Delhi Patiala House court on Saturday rejected the bail plea of Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair and sent him to 14-day judicial custody in a case related to a 2018 “objectionable tweet”.
The police produced Zubair before the court on the expiry of his five-day custody and urged him to be sent to 14-day judicial remand, saying they may require his custodial interrogation later.
“Since the case is in the preliminary stage of investigation and the overall facts and circumstances of the case and the nature and gravity of the offenses alleged against the accused, no ground for grant of bail is made out,” the court said in its order.
The judicial custody of Mohammad Zubair was sought after the Delhi Police seized his mobile phone and a hard disk during the investigation of the case.
During the hearing, Public Prosecutor Atul Srivastava informed the court that the police have invoked new provisions under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act-against Zubair.
After the application of the police, Zubair moved the bail application in the court on the ground that no further investigation was required.
The court may hear the bail application soon.
Zubair’s lawyer Vrinda Grover said that the phone seized by the police was not from the time the tweet was made.
He said the tweet is from 2018, and the phone is the one I (Zubair) am currently using. I have not even denied the tweet.
Zubair was earlier booked under IPC sections 153 (abetment with intent to cause riot only) and 295 (causing profanity to cause the desecration of a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class).
IPC Section 295A was furthermore conjured against him later.