Mohammed Zubair, Delhi HC
Mohammed Zubair, Delhi HC
Litigation News

Breaking: Delhi HC directs no coercive action against Alt News' Mohammed Zubair in FIR for allegedly threatening minor girl on Twitter

Appearing for Zubair, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves argued that while retweeting Singh's display picture, Zubair had blurred the image of the minor girl and that no offence could be said to have been committed.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today sought Delhi Police's response in a petition filed by Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair challenging an FIR lodged against him for allegedly "threatening and torturing" a minor girl on Twitter (Muhammed Zubair v. State).

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Yogesh Khanna directed that in the meantime, no coercive action shall be taken against Zubair pursuant to the FIR.

Following a series of abusive responses from one Jagdish Singh on Twitter, on August 6, Zubair called out Singh for being a troll and retweeted his display picture which featured his daughter.

Subsequently, Singh raised the issue with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, which opined that Zubair threatened and tortured a minor girl on the social networking platform.

Ultimately, two FIRs were registered against him. While one FIR was registered by the Delhi Police, the second FIR was registered in Chhattisgarh.

The present petition pertains to the Delhi Police FIR.

Appearing for Zubair, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves argued that while retweeting Singh's display picture, Zubair had blurred the image of the minor girl and that no offence could be said to have been committed.

The tweet in question read as follows:

“Hello Jagdish Singh, Does your cute grand daughter know about your part time job of abusing people on social media?

I suggest you to change your profile pic.”

Gonsalves submitted that Singh was a "serial abuser" who targetted persons with liberal views on Twitter.

Gonsalves also contended that two FIRs on the same event cannot be permitted.

Appearing for Delhi Police, Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra said that the investigation was going on and certain information pertaining to a third person, who posted disgraceful comments on Zubair's tweet, was awaited from Twitter.

Mehra also said that as per his instructions, the image of the minor girl was not blurred.

He pointed out that the Delhi Police FIR was the first FIR pertaining to the incident and involved commission of offences under Section 67 and 67 A of the Information Technology Act.

Mehra acknowledged that Alt News, a fact-check portal, was "doing a human service to this country".

He nonetheless added that if at all any illegality has been committed by Zubair, law would take its course.

As far as the issue of multiple FIR was concerned, Mehra said that Zubair must approach the competent court in Chhattisgarh to quash the second FIR.

After hearing the parties, the Court sought a response from the Delhi Police and extended interim relief to Zubair.

The Court also ordered that a copy of the FIR be supplied to him.

The matter will be heard next on December 8.

Read the Order:

Md Zubair vs State.pdf
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