New Delhi: The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in New Delhi has denied bail to Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair. He was sent to judicial custody for 14 days.
Delhi police arrested Mohammed Zubair on June 28 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. Delhi police charged him under the criminal conspiracy under Section 120 B over a 2018 tweet. Delhi police also informed the court that it has added 3 new sections to the FIR against him. The sections are : IPC 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), IPC 120 (B) (punishment of criminal conspiracy) and section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).
Police said that Mohammed Zubair had received foreign funds and this is in clear violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Police has began an investigation about the donations he allegedly received from abroad including Pakistan.
Delhi police informed the court that it may seek Zubair’s custody in the future and he must be sent to 14-day judicial custody. During the proceedings the public prosecutor informed the court that Zubair recieved payments through RazorPay from Pakistan, Syria, Australia, Singapore. And this must be investigated further. But Zubair’s advocate accused that the police and prosecution is misleading the court and the payments were accepted by the media company Pravda while police took Zubair’s name in court as the recipient of the donations. Zubair is the director of Pravda.
PP: We have added new provisions. He has formatted the phone.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) July 2, 2022
Meanwhile, a controversy irrupted as the , DCP (Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations) KPS Malhotra announced that Zubair’s bail plea had been rejected by the court around three hours before the court announced its verdict. Zubair’s advocate accused that the police learnt the court order even before it was pronounced. Later DCP Malhotra later claimed he ‘misheard’ the investigating officer.
Zubair was arrested after a social media user @balajikijaiin shared an old tweet of Zubair and said that Zubair mocked Hindu God Hanuman. He also tagged Delhi police and urged them to take action against Zubair for hurting religious sentiments.