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Azadi or Zabardasti? People react to journalist Prashant Kanojia's bail

Right to liberty non-negotiable, says bench, but adds that the relief does not mean the court approves of his tweet

By The Telegraph in New Delhi
  • Published 11.06.19, 4:04 PM
  • Updated 11.06.19, 4:06 PM
  • a min read
  •  
Kanojia had allegedly shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters outside the Uttar Pradesh chief minister's office in Lucknow claiming she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath. Source: Prashant Kanojia's Facebook page

Journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested for posting "objectionable comments" on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Twitter, was granted bail on Tuesday.

The vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi said right to liberty, a fundamental right, is non-negotiable but added that the bail does not mean that the court approves of the journalist's tweet.

Kanojia had allegedly shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters outside the Uttar Pradesh chief minister's office in Lucknow claiming she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath.

Kanojia's wife Jagisha Arora had said the arrest was "illegal" and "unconstitutional" and filed a habeas corpus petition. She demanded that Uttar Pradesh Police release Kanojia without delay.

In the petition, Arora also sought action against the policemen for arresting Kanojia from Delhi for "bailable offences". She also sought "exemplary damages" for his "illegal arrest".

After he was granted bail, this is what members of the Twitterati had to say:

The Congress chief used a similar style of sarcasm, for which the journalist was arrested, to imply that the UP chief minister needed to stop "behaving foolishly" and release the arrested scribes.

A BJP supporter felt that the decision was unjust and called Kanojia "a serial offender".

Another netizen "welcomed" the judgment while drawing a connection with the arrest of Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, who was held for derogatory remarks about the Konark Sun Temple in September last year.

Someone also claimed that Kanojia was suspended for castiest abuse to his IIMC faculty, and called him a "low life".

One of the members of Twitterati pointed out the dichotomy in the Supreme Court's judgments.

The word "endorsement" has been one of the highlights of this judgment:  

The Left wing activist and former JNU student congratulated the journalist on getting bail and implied the old saying from The Three Musketeers: One For All And All For One!

Journalists across the country continue to face heat from political parties. Let's see which scribe comes under the scanner next?

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