Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Delhi Police created false statement to raid my residence: Mohd Zubair to Delhi HC

In his reply to the status report filed by Delhi Police last month, Alt News Co-Founder Mohammed Zubair has informed the Delhi High Court that he has not made any disclosure statement to the investigating officer during his custody.

Zubair has said that any disclosures relied upon by the police are wholly false, concocted and inadmissible in law, Live Law reported.

“As such, all consequent proceedings including search and seizure premised upon the concocted and false disclosures are also illegal being extraneous to law and admissible in evidence,” said Zubair.

Zubair has denied the city police claim that he disclosed that the laptop and mobile phone used by him for posting the alleged content was at his residence, the legal website reported. The prominent fact checker said he “clearly and specifically told the police that he no longer has the mobile phone with which the tweet was made as same was lost, for which a report was lodged with the Crime Branch in Bengaluru.

Zubair said the purported disclosures have been prepared while he was in custody, without his knowledge.

“The statement attributed to me as a disclosure is manifestly wrong, false and concocted, to fabricate a non-existent ground to unlawfully raid my residence and seize my laptop and hard-disk, which I use for my journalistic fact-checking work. The said search and seizure from my residence was thus carried out with malafide reasons extraneous to the need of investigation,” Zubair told HC.

Zubair was arrested on June 27 by a cyber unit of the Delhi Police on charges of hurting religious sentiments. His tweet contained a still from a 1983 Hindi movie of a signboard repainted from “Honeymoon Hotel” to “Hanuman Hotel”.

An anonymous Twitter user with the handle @balajikijaiin had alleged that the tweet hurt sentiments of the Hindu community. The journalist was released on bail in July, after twenty-three days in custody.

In July, Zubair had moved the Delhi High Court, seeking that his electronic devices that were seized by the police, but were not related to the allegations mentioned in the first information report be returned to him

On 20 July, the Supreme Court disbanded the special investigation team formed by Uttar Pradesh for cases pending against Zubair and granted him interim bail in six cases filed against him in the state for allegedly hurting religious sentiments with Twitter posts. It also transferred the pending cases against him to Delhi.

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