The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear the plea of fact-checking website Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair challenging the Allahabad High Court order refusing to quash an FIR registered against him by Uttar Pradesh police in Sitapur for a tweet in which he allegedly called three Hindu seers as ‘hate mongers’.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and AS Bopanna will hear the case tomorrow. Last week the apex court had granted interim bail for five days to Zubair in the FIR registered against him in Sitapur.
The top court had made it clear that the interim bail order was only with respect to FIR lodged in Sitapur against Zubair and it has nothing to do with the case registered in Delhi.
Imposing conditions on bail, the apex court had said that he shall not tamper with electronic evidence in Bengaluru or anywhere else. He shall not tweet regarding the case, the bench had said. It had also made it clear that this order will also not impede the investigation or seizure of evidence in the Sitapur case.
Zubair is already in judicial custody in a case registered by the Delhi police for allegedly hurting religious sentiments over a tweet posted by him in 2018.
Last week he was produced before the Sitapur court which rejected his bail application and sent him to judicial custody.
The Supreme Court was hearing Zubair’s plea seeking protection from arrest and challenging the Allahabad High Court order refusing to quash FIR registered for a tweet for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed Zubair’s plea and said that it is not about one tweet. “Whether he is part of a syndicate which is regularly posting such tweets with the intention to destabilise the country. There is something more than what meets the eye in this case. There are many facts suppressed and he says he runs a fact-checking website,” SG had said.
“There is some kind of money angle too. Whether donations from countries inimical to India have been received by them is under investigation,” he had told the bench.
Solicitor General had said that one isolated tweet is not the offence, his overall conduct is being criminally investigated and he is a habitual offender.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju said that whether there is the intention or not of outraging religious sentiments it is a scope of the investigation.
ASG had further said that a prima facie case is made out under 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language, etc.) against Zubair and its not a fit case for entertaining this application.
Appearing for Zubair, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves had said that if he is performing the role of pointing out hate speech and reporting to police, it is not promoting enmity between religions, he is promoting secularism in fact. He is telling them to stop promoting enmity, stop hate speech, Gonsalves added.
Gonsalves had said Zubair’s life is in danger and that is why he moved to the court. Gonsalves had also referred to some Twitter thread where he said there is a statement to “directly shoot him” and Rs 1 lakh reward has been announced.
Zubair had approached the top court challenging the Allahabad High Court’s June 10 order where it had refused to quash an FIR registered against him in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh saying that it was premature to interfere when the investigation was at a preliminary stage.
Filing the appeal against the High Court order, Zubair also sought direction to stay the investigation in the case and direction for UP police not to “proceed, prosecute or arrest” him on the basis of the FIR. The FIR was registered for a tweet in which he allegedly called Hindu seers Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni and Anand Swaroop “hate mongers” on Twitter.
The FIR was lodged against Zubai on June 1 under Section 295 (A) of the IPC and Section 67 of the IT Act at the Khairabad police station in Sitapur district for deliberately “outraging religious feelings” of the seers.
His appeal in the apex court had said that the allegations of the FIR against him are “absolutely false and baseless”.
He claimed to be innocent and said he said that he has not committed any offence.
“The police are threatening to arrest the petitioner (Zubair) and the life and liberty of the petitioner are in danger. The inclusion of this criminal offence in the FIR portrays the cavalier, malicious and arbitrary manner in which the Respondents (Uttar Pradesh Police) have acted against the Petitioner,” the appeal stated.
It further stated, “There is a new strategy afoot of the police in communal crime cases. That is to register FIRs against those engaging in hate speech and communal crimes, as well as to rope in all secular elements monitoring such crimes and protesting police inaction against the wrongdoers.”
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Congress Slams CM Bommai, calls out the commercial for not including Nehru
The Karnataka government’s newspaper advertisement in which Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s photo was left off of the list of freedom warriors has sparked yet another controversy. The chief minister of Karnataka, BS Bommai, insulted his father, SR Bommai, and his father’s first political mentor, MN Roy, both of whom were ardent Nehru supporters, according to Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh.
Jairam Ramesh remarked, “CM Karnataka is desperately trying to keep his job.”
The leader of the Congress, BM Sandeep, referred to Bommai as a “puppet CM” and claimed that Nehru was a major figure in India in the middle of the 20th century.
The commercial in question honours both Indian freedom heroes and those who were from Karnataka. It honours Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Chandrashekhar Azad, Savarkar, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, and Vallabhbhai Patel Bhagat Singh, in addition to Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji, and Vallabhbhai Patel Bhagat Singh.
This intensified the tense argument between the BJP and the Congress on Har Ghar Tiranga. The Congress questioned the RSS’s decision to wait till Friday to change its social media profile pictures to the national flag, and BJP leader Tejasvi Surya promised to set up history lessons for anyone who questions the RSS’s role.
The Congress claimed that the 75th anniversary of Independence had been reduced to “glorifying the sarvagyaani” and questioned why no special event had been arranged in Parliament to commemorate the occasion. In response, the BJP questioned why the Congress had not published a photo of its leaders raising the flag.
President Droupadi Murmu to deliver maiden address to nation
President Droupadi Murmu is about to give her first address to the nation. Murmu will address the nation on Sunday on the eve of Independence Day.
Meanwhile, Rashtrapati Bhavan said that the President’s address will be telecast on all national networks of All India Radio and all channels of Doordarshan from 7 pm onwards.
Moreover, the statement reads, “President Murmu’s address will also be telecast in regional languages on Doordarshan’s regional networks. All India Radio will also broadcast the regional language versions of the President’s address to the nation through its language service centers across India. All India Radio will telecast it in the regional language at 9.30 pm on their respective regional networks.”
However, on 15 August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address will also be live-streamed by PIB (Press Information Bureau) on its various social media channels.
Author Salman Rushdie taken off ventilator; accused Matar pleaded ‘not guilty’
Renowned author Salman Rushdie was taken off a ventilator on Friday and will be able to talk. Rushdie was attacked by a man with a knife on Friday at an event in New York, USA.
According to the Washington Post, Rushdie’s agent Andrew Wyllie said Rushdie was taken off a ventilator and could be able to talk.
Earlier, Hadi Matar who stabbed the author Rushdie pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in the second degree. On Saturday, Matar was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail.
According to the New York State Police, “On August 12, 2022, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Hadi Matar 24 of Fairview, NJ for Attempted Murder 2nd degree (B Felony) and Assault 2nd degree. Matar was processed at SP Jamestown and transported to Chautaugua Country Jail. Matar was arraigned in centralized arraignment on August 13, 2022, and was remanded without bail at Chautaugua Country Jail.”
Earlier, New York State Police identified the suspect as Hadi Matar. Matar hail from Fairview, New Jersey, and is 24 years old.
“Earlier today, approx at 10:47 am, the speaker Rushdie, 75, and Henry Reese, 73 has just arrived at the stage of the institution and shortly thereafter the suspect jumped out of the stage and attacked at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen,” Major Eugene J. Staniszewski said.
Meanwhile, the White House on Saturday also called the attack on Salman Rushdie “reprehensible”. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris wished the renowned author a speedy recovery.
Moreover, UK PM Boris Johnson said, “Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend. Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay.”
Salman Rushdie was born in 1974 in Mumbai and is 75 years old. He has a long history of controversies. After writing The Satanic Verses, he received death threats from Islamic extremists for several years.
India observes Partion Horrors Remembrance Day, recollects the agony
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to those who lost their lives in the communal riots that occurred during the country’s partition as India observed Partition Horrors Remembrance Day. He also praised the resilience and tenacity displayed by individuals who were affected by the partition.
The PM tweeted, “Today, on #PartitionHorrorsRemembranceDay, I pay homage to all those who lost their lives during Partition , and applaud the resilience as well as grit of all those who suffered during that tragic period of our history.”
In his Independence Day speech from the previous year, Prime Minister Modi proclaimed that August 14 would be remembered as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.”
Himanta Biswa Sarma, the chief minister of Assam, also spoke of the agony that occurred during the partition because Pakistan’s creation led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Sarma referred to the partition as one of the “darkest events in Indian history” and claimed that it had delivered a severe blow to “Akhand Bharat,” or undivided India.
Taking to the microblogging site, he wrote, “One of the darkest moments in Indian history, Partition wreaked havoc upon millions of countrymen & dealt mighty blow to Akhand Bharat. On #PartitionHorrorsRemembranceDay, I recall the sufferings of people resulting from evil machinations of British Raj & newly-formed Pakistan.”
Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, also paid tribute to those who died as a result of the partition and sent his sorrow to their families.
“Lakhs of innocent civilians lost their lives and crores of citizens suffered inhuman suffering during the sad Partition of India due to the destructive religious mindset,” he tweeted.
PM Modi leads homage to Jhunjhunwala
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala received homage from all corners of the nation, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The billionaire investor passed away at age 62 in Mumbai.
PM Modi said, “Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the financial world.”
Taking to Twitter, the PM said, “He was also very passionate about India’s progress. His passing away is saddening. My condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti. (sic).”
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi was one of many leaders who tweeted condolences to the veteran MP. “Saddened to hear about Shri Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s demise, just days after he established his low-cost airline, Akasa Airline.”
She wrote, “He was not just bullish about the stock market but also about the nation. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.”
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala passes away at 62
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, ace business investor, passed away at the age of 62. He was often referred to as ‘The Big Bull of Dalal Street’ for his unique investing pattern. His distinctive approach made him count amongst the top business investors in India.
Jhunjhunwala was an active investor in addition to serving on the boards of directors of Prime Focus Limited, Geojit Financial Services, Bilcare Limited, Praj Industries Limited, Provogue India Limited, Concord Biotech Limited, Innovasynth Technologies Limited, Mid Day Multimedia Limited, Nagarjuna Construction Company Limited, Viceroy Hotels Limited, and Tops Security Limited. He was also the chairman of Aptech Limited and Hungama Digital Media Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.
Jhunjhunwala, who was born on July 5, 1960, was raised in Bombay by Rajasthani parents while his father served as an income tax commissioner. After completing his studies at Sydenham College, he applied to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
He was the 36th richest Indian with a net worth of $5.5 billion and also had the title of Warren Buffet of India. Jhunjhunwala was listed among the top 500 wealthiest billionaires in Forbes’ Real-time Billionaires Index.
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