Supreme Court grants bail to journalist Prashant Kanojia, says right to liberty is non-negotiable

Prashant Kanojia | The imprint

Text size:

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested for allegedly making objectionable comments against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on social media.

A vacation bench, made up of judges Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi, said the right to liberty, a fundamental right, is not negotiable.

However, the judiciary said the bail does not mean they approve of the journalist‘s tweets or social media posts.

The judiciary learned Monday of the arguments of lawyer Nitya Ramakrishnan, representing Kanojia’s wife, Jagisha Arora, that the arrest was “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.

Arora had filed a habeas corpus (bring the person) motion challenging Kanojia’s arrest and asked the Uttar Pradesh police to release him without delay.

In the petition, filed through lawyer Shadan Farasat, the vernacular scribe’s wife also requested ministerial action against the police officers, who were not in uniform, for arresting Kanojia of Delhi for “offenses under bail “.

The plea also sought “exemplary damages” for Kanojia for his “unlawful arrest.”

“The Hindi journalist was unceremoniously taken away by men in civilian clothes on June 8 from his Delhi residence. It turns out that on June 7, police officers from the Hazaratganj Police Station in Lucknow filed an FIR against him under Articles 500 (Criminal Defamation) of the IPC and 66 of the Technology Act. information (IT) and both offenses are subject to bail, ”the plea had said.

Read also: UP police struggle to justify arrest of journalist Prashant Kanojia for Yogi’s tweet, the law does not

Police were required to release Kanojia in Delhi even in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as the alleged offenses were subject to bail, he said, adding that the accused should have been released on bail upon his arrest. by the police themselves.

“No arrest note was prepared and neither the petitioner nor her husband were informed of the reasons why he was being taken and why those” responsible for the arrest “were in civilian clothes,” he said.

Two provisions – Article 505 (statements leading to public wrongdoing) of the IPC and Article 67 (Punishment for publication or transmission of obscene material in electronic form) of the Computer Law – were added later, because previously the FIR only contained bail offenses, he said. .

These penal provisions provide for maximum prison sentences of two and three years, respectively.

Kanojia reportedly shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters from various media outside the Chief Minister’s office in Lucknow, claiming she sent a proposal to Adityanath.

An FIR was registered against Kanojia by a sub-inspector at Hazratganj police station in Uttar Pradesh on Friday evening in which it was alleged that the accused had made “objectionable comments against the CM and attempted to defame his image” .

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube and Telegram

Why the news media is in crisis and how to fix it

India needs free, fair, uninhibited, interrogative journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media are in a crisis of their own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, giving in to crass spectacle in prime time.

ThePrint employs the best young reporters, columnists and editors. Supporting journalism of this quality requires smart, thoughtful people like you to pay the price. Whether you live in India or abroad, you can do it here.

Support our journalism

About Cody E. Vaughn

Check Also

Intrepid journalist, honest writer and faithful friend

His emotional connection to his birthplace/roots He didn’t really care what other people said about …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.