Allahabad HC refuses to quash FIR against journalist for calling Hindu seers “hatemongers”

The Allahabad High Court dismissed Alt News co-founder Muhammed Zubair’s plea challenging an FIR registered against him over a tweet in which he called 3 Hindu seers- Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati, Bajrang Muni, and Anand Swaroop as ‘hatemongers.’

“The evidence has to be gathered after a thorough investigation and placed before the Court concerned on the basis of which alone the Court concerned can come to a conclusion one way or the other on the allegations levelled by the petitioner. If the allegations are bereft of truth and made maliciously, the investigation will say so,” Live Law quotes the Bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Ajai Kumar Srivastava-I as saying.

Court noted that the entire matter is only at a premature stage and the investigation is not yet proceeded except for some preliminary effort taken on the date of the registration of the case.

The FIR against Alt News co-founder Muhammed Zubair was filed in Khairabad police station in Uttar Pradesh.

Section 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 and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act has been charged against Zubair based on the complaint of district head of Rashtriya Hindu Sher Sena, Bhagwan Sharan.

Seeking the cancellation of FIR, Zubair affirm in front of the court that he hadn’t insulted a religious belief of a class, Live Law reported.

The court too opined that an examination of the record of the case makes out a prima facie case at the instant stage and there shows up to be sufficient ground for examination within the case.

In the tweet, Zubair earlier condemned the prime-time debates on Indian news channels concerning the recent Gyanvapi Mosque issue. He took an aim at the channels, which in his words “have become a platform to encourage hate mongers to speak ill about other religions.”

Yati Narsinghanand, the head priest of Ghaziabad’s Dasna Devi Temple and the main organiser of the Haridwar anti-Muslim genocidal event had a long history of hate speech. In several instances he has exhorted people to take up arms against Muslims. He is associated with several right- wing leaders who has a history of hate speech against minority Muslims like Kapil Sharma and Ashwni Upadhyay.

Mahant Bajrang Muni, priest of the Badi Sangat Ashram threatened mass sexual violence against Muslim women in the presence of the police on the occasion of the Hindu new year on April 2nd.