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Mohd Zubair's lawyer, Soutik Banerjee (Photo:ANI)
Mohd Zubair's lawyer, Soutik Banerjee (Photo:ANI)

Zubair's lawyer claims court's order on bail plea was leaked by Delhi Police

ANI | Updated: Jul 02, 2022 16:10 IST

New Delhi [India], July 2 (ANI): Soon after the news of Alt News co-founder Mohd Zubair's bail plea being rejected made rounds on Saturday, his lawyer Soutik Banerjee alleged that Delhi Police DCP KPS Malhotra "leaked the order to the media" even before the "magistrate pronounced the order".
He called for an introspection behind the leakage of the magistrate's order before it was officially pronounced.
Earlier, Malhotra claimed that Zubair's bail plea was rejected by the Patiala House Court and was granted 14-day judicial custody.
The Alt News co-founder was produced before the court after his 4-day police remand ended today.
"Arguments took place until lunch and the judge reserved the matter for judgment. The judge hasn't come after lunch yet. Shocked to see that DCP KPS Malhotra has leaked in the media that our bail plea has been rejected and 14-day judicial custody granted," Banerjee said.
Calling the entire unfolding of events "scandalous", the lawyer said that it "speaks the status of rule of law in our country".
"Extremely scandalous and speaks of the status of rule of law in our country today that even before the judicial magistrate has sat and pronounced the order, police has leaked the order to media. How KPS Malhotra knows what the order is beyond me. This calls for introspection," he said.
Presenting the argument in the court, Advocate Vrinda Grover, representing Mohd Zubair, said, "The mentioned tweet belonged to film 'Kissi Se Na Kehna' by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, it's a lovely comedy and was allowed by censor board...They say the tweet is provocative and sensitive, but still no direction from Twitter to remove it."
The lawyer argued that formatting the phone is not illegal.
"I was not aware of the FIR and phone was not summoned... It's not illegal to format my phone. It is not arms and ammunition, or a drug... It's not illegal to format my phone... I take serious legal and constitutional objections," Grover said.
Meanwhile, Atul Shrivastava, representing Delhi Police sought the dismissal of the bail plea stating that there are donations from countries like Pakistan and Syria and therefore the case is "not just of a simple tweet".
"It is not a case of time-barred... It is still a continuing offence as the tweet is still there... When the film was released, it was not the age of the internet. Donations are from Pakistan, Syria, so considering gravity, it's not just a case of a simple tweet...accused is Pravda Media director, he smartly deleted everything...In such circumstances, bail application should be dismissed...deletion of data from phone after FIR is important."
Delhi Police has sought judicial custody of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair after his 4-day remand ended on Saturday in a case related to an alleged objectionable tweet.
The police have also alleged conspiracy and destruction of evidence in the case by the accused and the relevant sections of the same were added in the FIR.
The police also stated in the court that Zubair received donations from foreign countries.
Delhi Police have added three new Sections - 201 (for the destruction of evidence - formatted phone and deleted tweets), 120-(B) (for criminal conspiracy) of IPC and 35 of Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010, in the matter.
The FIR against Zubair was lodged on June 20 based on the complaint filed by the Duty Officer of the IFSO unit of the Delhi Police Special Cell which tackles cyber crimes. (ANI)