The new strategy of police in hate speech cases and communal crimes is to book the criminals as well as those who highlight and protest against such crimes, Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair told the Supreme Court on Thursday. .The submissions form part of the petition filed by Zubair before the apex court seeking to quash the first information report (FIR) registered against him by the Uttar Pradesh police (UP Police) in Sitapur in a case of hurting religious sentiments..The case against Zubair was registered by the UP police for hurting religious sentiments based on a tweet he had put out against Mahant Bajrang Muni, Yati Narsinghanand and Swami Anand Swaroop referring to them as 'hate mongers'.Zubair was booked under 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(IPC) and Section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act, 2000.He had approached the Allahabad High Court to quash the case but the same was turned down..Zubair in his plea has, inter alia, raised the following grounds:.New Police strategy is to book persons who highlight communal crimes/ hate speechesThe plea said that the new Police strategy is to register FIRs against those engaging in hate speech and communal crimes, as well as to rope in all secular elements monitoring such crimes and protesting police inaction against the wrong doers."This is done with the intention of stifling freedom of speech of secular persons in society who stand up against communal elements and to put fear into them so that they no longer protest," Zubair contended.Since he is doing the tedious job of a fact checker to verify and call out misinformation, FIRs are being lodged only for the purpose of harassing the petitioner and to desist, discourage and threaten him from doing his job, it was contended..No offence made out under Section 295A IPC or Section 67 IT ActThe plea pointed the offences under Section 295A IPC and Section 67 of IT Act are not made out in the tweets by Zubair.As far as Section 67 was concerned, the plea stated that nowhere in the tweet the petitioner mentioned any sexual act or said anything that could arouse sexual desires in the mind of a reasonable and prudent reader which is the pre requisite under Section 67.With regard to Section 295A, Zubair submitted that there must be both deliberate and malicious intention on the part of the accused and there must be an insult to religion. The facts of this does not reveal any insult to any religion, it was contended."The facts of this case reveals that the petitioner, on the contrary, is speaking out against those insulting religion," the petition stated.Even assuming whatever has been stated in the FIR is correct, then also the requirement of Section 295-A is not met, it was submitted."In order to attract Section 295A, there must be an insult with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India which is absent in the present case," it was contended..Calling a person hatemonger when he promotes hostility, is not a crime.The plea said that calling a person “hatemonger” especially when they promote hostility and prejudice is not a crime at all.It is protected by Article 19(1)(a), Zubair's petition said. The hate speeches and conduct of persons referred by the petitioner in his tweet (Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati or Mahant Bajrang Muni or Anand Swaroop) are in public domain and they are also facing legal consequences in different parts of the country, it was pointed out. Further, it is not the petitioner alone who has referred them as such rather on multiple occasions, the mainstream media has referred them as 'hatemongers', the plea submitted..Petitioner subjected to online trolling and threatsThe plea stated that the petitioner is often subject to online trolling, abuses, threats and frequent demeaning by those who do not agree with his posts."This is not the first time when the petitioner has been harassed or intimidated for his fact check tweets," it was stated..FIR wrong on facts and law; lodged to silence ZubairThe fact checker stated that the Sitapur FIR is not only wrong on facts but also unsustainable in law, as no prima facie offence is made out against him under the Indian Penal Code or the IT Act."The registration of the said FIR amounts to an abuse of the process of law, intended to intimidate, silence and punish independent journalism; and any coercive action against the petitioner would amount to a grave miscarriage of justice," the appeal said..Zubair is also under judicial custody in a separate FIR registered by Delhi Police for another tweet of his.