AltNews' Mohammad Zubair sent to 14-day judicial custody by Hathras court in two cases

Mohammad Zubair’s appearance in the Hathras court came amid a series of cases and FIRs lodged against him in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.

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AltNews co-founder Mohammad Zubair was on Thursday sent to 14-day judicial custody by a Hathras court in connection with two cases that have been registered against him for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. 

In the first case, Zubair is charges with inciting violence in Purdil Nagar town after Friday prayers on June 10 while the second one is connected to a Twitter post purportedly prompting enmity between two groups on the basis of religion. 

Zubair’s appearance in the Hathras court came amid a series of cases and FIRs lodged against him in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi after the fact-checker was arrested by Delhi Police last month over a tweet which he posted in 2017. 

The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Hathras had recently issued B warrant against the fact-checker. 

The Sitapur FIR was lodged on June 1 under Indian Penal Code section 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) and section 67 of the IT Act on a complaint by Hindu Sher Sena district president Bhagwan Sharan. This case has reached the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the court extended till further orders the interim bail granted to Zubair. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna was told by Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, that it wants to file a counter affidavit to Zubair's plea seeking quashing of the FIR lodged in the case.

The relief granted by the top court for Zubair will not have any effect as he is in judicial custody as per the order of a Delhi court in another case.

Also on Tuesday, the Delhi court posted for July 14 hearing on a bail plea filed by Zubair in a case related to an "objectionable tweet" he had posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity.

Zubair was arrested by the Delhi Police on June 27 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets. The Delhi Police has invoked new provisions -- sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act -- against Zubair.

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