NEW DELHI: Fact-checking website Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair on Monday sought an urgent hearing of his plea seeking to quash all six FIRs registered against him in Uttar Pradesh and also challenged the constitution of the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Zubair, mentioned the matter for urgent listing of the case, before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.
"He is a journalist. A slew of FIRs was registered against him. As soon as he gets bail in one case, he is arrested in another. Requesting for a mentioning today itself," Grover told the apex court.
The Bench also comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli asked Grover to mention the matter before a Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud bench, which had passed the order earlier in Zubair case. The Bench said,
"No not today. You mention it before the same bench (Justice Chandrachud's bench)." Zubair has approached the apex court challenging the FIRs registered at six places in Uttar Pradesh -- Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheri, Muzaffarnagar, Ghaziabad and Hathras (two FIRs).
In the plea, Zubair said his personal liberty has been completely jeopardized without following the due procedure established by law and requested the court either to quash the six FIRs in UP or club all of them with the FIR at Delhi, where he was first arrested, to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and prolonged detention.
The plea also challenged the constitution of a two-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Uttar Pradesh government had this week formed the SIT to investigate the six cases registered against Zubair in various districts of the State.
The SIT comprises Inspector General Preetinder Singh, currently posted at the Department of Prisons Administration and Reform, and Deputy Inspector General of police Amit Verma.
Zubair has also sought interim bail in all six FIRs. On July 12, the Supreme Court had extended till September 7 the five days interim bail granted to Zubair in the case registered against him by Uttar Pradesh Police in Sitapur.
The apex court had clarified that its interim bail order is with respect to the FIR lodged in Sitapur only and has nothing to do with a separate case registered against him in Delhi.
Zubair had challenged the Allahabad High Court order refusing to quash an FIR registered against him by Uttar Pradesh police in Sitapur for a tweet in which he allegedly called three Hindu seers- as 'hate mongers'.
Sitapur court had sent him to judicial custody and declined his bail plea. Hathras court on Saturday sent Zubair to 14-day judicial custody after two cases were registered against him in the district on July 4.
The case was registered by Deepak Sharma for Zubair's remarks on Hindu Gods and Goddesses in a tweet in 2018.
Last week, Lakhimpur court had sent Zubair to 14-day judicial custody. Delhi court had also sent him to judicial custody in the case registered against him.
The Delhi police had arrested him on June 27 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets.