Supreme Court hears petition filed by Mohammad Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, seeking protection from arrest and challenging Allahabad Supreme Court order refusing to destroy FIR registered for a tweet in which he to reportedly named three Hindu seers as “hatemongers”.
Senior attorney Colin Gonsalves, who appeared before Zubair, had called the case for an urgent hearing and told the bank there is a serious threat to his life.
Here are the highlights of this story:
- Yesterday it was reported that there is a life-threatening situation. I have a preliminary objection, there are suppression of facts including the bail rejection yesterday and Zubair was sent to the police. This is a deliberate suppression of facts. Without telling that his bail was rejected by the court yesterday, they have moved here for bail: Attorney General Tushar Mehta, who represents the UP government, said.
- You should have informed these facts. The order was received late at night. We added that in the filing we subsequently filed: Colin Gonsalves, senior Supreme Court attorney appearing before Zubair.
- Is this a criminal offense at all (referring to the tweet). I admitted the tweet. Why a Police Detention?: Lawyer Gonsalves
- I meant hate speech. Where have I spoken to a religion? While those who gave hate speech are out on bail, the one who exposed them is in prison: Attorney Gonsalves
- When I say hate mongers… I’m not wrong. The police have arrested them. And once out, once again giving in to hate speech. Why do I need to recover my mobile from Bangalore. I gave in to this tweet. What is the research needed for? And that’s why I came to SC to quash the case: Attorney Gonsalves
- These hate mongers made constitutional comments, judges. I exposed this kind of poisonous language against judges, the Constitution. I’m in jail for this. Here I am defending the constitution: Attorney Colin Gonsalves, who appeared before Zubair, said.
- How is my tweet a violation. Where is the violation, that should be the first question? When no violation, why investigation? Where is guardianship needed? Where have I offended a religion? If I’m right, you can’t take me into custody. I am in custody under Supreme Court order: Attorney Gonsalves
- I am part of Alt News. Carefully trace hate speech and refer to the police.
My life is in danger. There are many people who advise others to kill me. Some advise the police to torture me: Attorney Gonsalves further said:
- The question is not about a single tweet. Whether there is a syndicate behind it… that regularly posts such tweets with the intent to destabilize the country: Advocate General Tushar Mehta