A LOCAL court in Lakhimpur Kheri on Saturday rejected a bail petition of Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair in connection with a case lodged against him last year for allegedly promoting enmity between two groups. Zubair is presently in jail.
“After hearing arguments from both, prosecution and the defence counsel, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Ruchi Srivastava on Saturday rejected bail application of Zubair,” said assistant district government counsel, Lakhimpur Kheri, Awdhesh Kumar.
The court is likely to hear the police custody application of Zubair on July 20, he added.
According to the police, one Ashish Kumar Katiyar, who claimed to be a local TV journalist, got the case filed on September 18 last year against Zubair and Twitter at Mohammadi police station in Lakhimpur Kheri. Katiyar claimed the accused had circulated false news on content broadcast by his channel, disturbing communal harmony.
Katiyar had moved court seeking a direction for the registration of an FIR after the local police did not entertain his complaint. Following the court directive, the FIR was registered against Zubair under IPC Section 153A (promoting enmity between two groups).
As many as six different cases are lodged against Zubair across the state. the state government has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe cases against Zubair.
On Friday, a Delhi court had observed that “the voice of dissent is necessary for healthy democracy” and granted bail to Zubair. He has been granted bail in two, and will remain in judicial custody until he gets bail in the remaining cases.