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