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UP Hate Speech Case: SC extends interim bail for Alt news co-founder and fact-checker Mohd Zubair till further order

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

New Delhi: On Tuesday, Supreme Court extends the interim bail granted to Alt news co-founder and fact-checker Mohammed Zubair in the hate speech FIR registered against him at UP’s Sitapur. The next hearing on Zubair’s petition to quash the FIR will be on September 7.

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Additional Solicitor General SV Raju told a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna that they want to file a counter-affidavit on Zubair’s plea seeking quashing of the FIR registered in the matter. The apex court’s order came on fact-checker Mohammad Zubair’s plea challenging the Allahabad High Court order refusing to quash FIR registered against him in UP’s Sitapur for a tweet in which he allegedly called three Hindu seers ‘hate mongers’.

According to the report, Colin Gonsalves, Senior advocate representing Zubair, told the bench that his interim bail was only for five days and is expiring today. To this, the bench said that it will continue the interim bail of Zubair. The bench stated in its order, “State seeks time to file a counter-affidavit. Reply to be filed within 4 weeks and rejoinder within 2 weeks thereafter. Interim bail in the Sitapur FIR case shall continue. List for final disposal on September 7, 2022.”

Alt news co-founder and fact-checker Mohammed Zubair was booked by Delhi Police under sections 153A (promotion of enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) and 295A (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Delhi Police said.

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