The Allahabad High Court dismissed the plea by the Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair challenging the FIR lodged against him for a tweet earlier this month.
In his tweet, Zubair called 3 Hindu saints, Yati Narasimhanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop, ‘HateMongers’.
Earlier this month, Zubair was booked by the Uttar Pradesh Police under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2000.
Seeking quashing of the FIR, Zubair had moved the High Court claiming that in his tweet, he did not attempt to insult the religious faith of any section. He also said that the FIR, in this case, was registered against him only for an ulterior motive; hence it is liable to be quashed.
The bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Ajay Kumar Srivastava-I dismissed his plea. They also noted that the entire matter is at an early stage, and the investigation has not proceeded so far except for some preliminary efforts made on the registration date.
The court further emphasized, “The evidence should be collected a thorough investigation and placed before the court concerned on the basis of which the concerned court can come to some kind of conclusion on the allegations made by the petitioner.”
The bench also observed that perusal of the record of the case makes out a prima facie case at the instant stage and there appears to be sufficient ground for investigation in the case.
It may further be noted that the FIR against Zubair had been lodged by Bhagwan Sharan, the Sitapur district head of the Hindutva organization Rashtriya Hindu Sher Sena alleging that his religious sentiments had been hurt by Zubair’s tweet.