Supreme Court pulls up Uttar Pradesh police, directs Prashant Kanojia’s immediate release on bail

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has directed immediate release of freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia on bail. He was held for posting a controversial tweet on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on social media.
Kanojia was arrested on Friday night last week for allegedly defaming state Chief Minister on social media. In the video, a woman standing outside the CM’s office can be seen claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to the CM Yogi Adityanath after talking to him for over a year through “video calling”.
A head of a news channel and an editor of a private TV news channel were also arrested on the same night for broadcasting the same video. Since then six FIRs have been registered and four persons have been arrested on the same issue.
During the hearing, the Supreme Court categorically said that it disapproves the “denial of liberty” while at the same time adding that the bench certainly does not approve Kanojia’s tweets.
Directing the immediate release of Kanojia, the SC said that the proceedings can take place against him but the action taken by the Uttar Pradesh police is “too harsh.”
Prashant Kanojia was remanded to 11 days custody by a district magistrate, on which the top court expressed its displeasure asking if it was a case of murder. To this, Ajay Rastogi, representing the Uttar Pradesh police contended that the petitioner can challenge it.
“Liberty guaranteed by constitution non-negotiable, affront on fundamental rights. He must be immediately be released on bail. We are not quashing the proceedings or FIR but the action is too harsh, we are living in a country which has a constitution, ” the SC observed during the hearing.

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