NEW DELHI, June 11 - Observing that right to liberty is sacrosanct and “non-negotiable”, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered that journalist Prashant Kanojia, arrested for allegedly sharing objectionable posts on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, be immediately released on bail.
Making it clear that granting bail to Kanojia cannot be construed as approval of the posts or tweets, the court also slammed the UP government for the “excessiveness” of its action and questioned his nearly two-week judicial custody, asking, “Is this a case of murder?”
Asserting that fundamental right guaranteed under the Constitution cannot be infringed upon by the state and that it was not inclined to sit back on technical grounds to deny justice, the court, however, said proceedings against the journalist will go on as per law.
A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi gave the order while hearing a habeas corpus petition (a writ for producing a person who is under arrest or in unlawful detention before a court) filed by Kanojia’s wife Jagisha Arora challenging his arrest.
Welcoming the order, Jagisha said it has reaffirmed her belief in the Constitution. “The Uttar Pradesh police acted in an unconstitutional manner but we followed all the process constitutionally and moved the Supreme Court,” she told reporters outside the Supreme Court.
Asked about the tweet posted by Kanojia, she said it was made on a lighter note and there was nothing inappropriate about them. “I stand by what he has tweeted as he has not made any indecent remark rather it was humorous.” – PTI