10 Detailed Supreme Court Observations

Individuals should not be punished solely on the basis of allegations, the Supreme Court has said

New Delhi:
Alt News fact-checker Mohammed Zubair was released from jail last week, 23 days after his arrest over a 2018 tweet. The Supreme Court did not release the operative part of the order until July 20. The full copy of the judgment was uploaded today.

Here are the main observations of the Supreme Court on the bail order for Mohammed Zubair:

  1. He (Mohammed Zubair) is trapped in a vicious cycle of the penal process where the process itself has become the punishment. The machinery of the criminal justice system was used relentlessly against the petitioner.

  2. It also appears that some dormant FIRs from 2021 have been activated as some new FIRs are registered, thus aggravating the difficulties encountered by the petitioner.

  3. Arrest is not meant to be and should not be used as a punitive tool, as it entails one of the most serious possible consequences emanating from criminal law: the loss of personal liberty.

  4. Individuals should not be punished solely on the basis of allegations and without a fair trial.

  5. When the power of arrest is exercised without due diligence and without regard to the law, it is an abuse of power.

  6. Criminal law and its processes should not be instrumentalized as a tool of harassment.

  7. (Supreme Court at UP gov’s request to impose bail condition he must not tweet) Courts, while imposing bail conditions, must balance the liberty of the accused and the need for a fair trial. In doing so, conditions that would result in the deprivation of rights and freedoms must be avoided.

  8. Just because the complaints against the petitioner stem from posts he made on a social media platform, a blanket advance order restraining him from tweeting cannot be issued.

  9. A general order requiring the applicant not to express his opinion – an opinion which he is legitimately entitled to hold as an active participating citizen – would be disproportionate to the objective of imposing conditions on release. under caution. The imposition of such a condition would amount to a gag order against the petitioner. Gag orders have a chilling effect on freedom of expression.

  10. According to the petitioner, he is a journalist and co-founder of a fact-checking website and he uses Twitter as a means of communication to dispel fake news and misinformation in the age of transformed images, clickbaits and personalized videos . Passing an order preventing him from posting on social media would be an unwarranted violation of the freedom of speech and expression and the freedom to practice one’s profession.

Virginia C. Taylor