October 7, 2020 10:35:35 pm
The Chhattisgarh High Court has granted interim relief to AltNews co-founder Mohammed Zubair in a case registered against him in connection with a tweet. An FIR has been lodged against Zubair under the IT Act, IPC, and POCSO Act.
“It is directed that no coercive steps shall be taken against the petitioner till the next date of hearing”, states the October 5 order of the Bench headed by Justice Sanjay K Agarwal.
Last month, the Delhi High Court had restrained the Delhi Police from taking coercive action against Zubair in connection with the same case.
“Taking into consideration that with similar allegation, one FIR has already been filed against the petitioner in Delhi…and the Delhi High Court has already granted interim relief in favour of the petitioner and further taking into consideration the facts of the case… I consider it a fit case to grant interim relief in favour of the petitioner,” the court said in its judgment.
The complainant in the case is National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) chairperson Priyank Kanoongo. The NCPCR complaint had referred to a tweet shared by Zubair on August 6, which had the photo of a minor girl, with her face blurred out, during an online spat he was having with her father, the Twitter user in question.
In connection with Zubair’s tweet, Kanoongo had tweeted that the NCPCR has taken “cognizance of the case of threatening and torturing a girl child through Twitter” and written to both Twitter and law enforcement authorities.
Zubair in his petition to the Delhi HC had said he “merely shared an image of [the Twitter user] standing with a minor girl whose face was pixelated and calling him out on his foul, shameful and abusive behaviour on social media”.
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