New Delhi, June: The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested by Uttar Pradesh Police on Saturday for making "objectionable comments" against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on social media. The order for his immediate release on bail was passed by a vacation bench comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi on a petition filed by Kanojia's wife Jigisha.
During the hearing, Justice Banerjee said, "Liberty of a citizen is sacrosanct and non-negotiable. It is guaranteed by the Constitution and it cannot be infringed upon." She said, "We can understand that the tweets should not have been made. But arresting..."The bench observed, "Opinions may vary. He (Prashant) probably should not have published or written the tweets, but on what basis was he arrested." Prashant Kanojia, Arrested Over Tweet on Yogi Adityanath, To Be Released Immediately, Orders Supreme Court.
It also asked the UP government to show "magnanimity in releasing him". The lawyer arguing on behalf of the state said that the tweets were highly inflammatory, "Very, very strong and inflammatory tweets were made by the accused," the counsel submitted.Kanojia was arrested from Delhi by the UP Police for making certain "objectionable comments" against Adityanath on social media and for "spreading rumours".
He was taken into custody after a case was registered at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow. Kanojia has been booked under sections 500 (defamation), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) of the Indian Penal Code and section 67 (publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form) of the Information Technology Act. On Sunday, the Editors Guild of India had condemned the arrest of Kanojia, Eshika Singh, head of Noida-based new channel Nation Live, and Anuj Shukla, an editor of the channel, in connection with the case.