Don’t con­strue this as ap­proval of tweet, SC on relief to scribe

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - DNA cor­re­spon­dent cor­re­spon­[email protected]­

New Delhi: The Supreme Court or­dered the im­me­di­ate re­lease of free­lance journalist Prashant Kanojia on Tues­day, as­sert­ing that the right to liberty is a fun­da­men­tal, non­nego­tiable right, how­ever, the or­der should not be con­strued as an ap­proval of his tweets. Kanojia was ar­rested by the Ut­tar Pradesh po­lice for “de­fam­ing” Ut­tar Pradesh Chief Min­is­ter Yogi Adityanath on so­cial me­dia.

“It is made clear this or­der is not con­strued as an ap­proval of tweets,” the court said, “We may dis­ap­prove of these tweets but we dis­ap­prove of the de­nial of liberty.”

The court agreed to hear Kanojia’s spouse, Jag­isha Arora’s pe­ti­tion, say­ing, “Nor­mally we don’t en­ter­tain these pe­ti­tions, but a per­son can’t spend 11 days in jail.”

Five peo­ple, in­clud­ing Kanojia, were ar­rested on charges of post­ing al­legedly ob­jec­tion­able con­tent about CM Adityanath on Satur­day, spark­ing de­bate about free­dom of ex­pres­sion.

A Luc­know court re­manded Kanojia to ju­di­cial cus­tody till June 22, and he is cur­rently in a Luc­know jail .

The is­sue was taken up by the Ed­i­tors Guild of In­dia which termed the ar­rests “high-handed and ar­bi­trary”. On June 6, a woman whose video was shared by Kanojia, made defam­a­tory state­ments against the CM on a pri­vate TV chan­nel, say cops.

Mean­while, two youths have been ar­rested by the Ben­galuru po­lice for abus­ing Kar­nataka CM HD Ku­maraswamy and son Nikhil Ku­maraswamy in a vi­ral video.

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