Bilaspur HC orders no coercive action against Altnews co-founder Mohammad Zubair in FIR under POCSO Act

On Monday, Bilaspur High Court in Chhattisgarh ordered that no coercive action should be taken against fact-checking news website Altnews’ co-founder Mohammad Zubair in an FIR under the POSCO Act. The next hearing will be in November, informed co-founder Pratik Sinha on Twitter.

Zubair tweeted, "I'm back Thank you! Thank you! Thank you everyone for the support! Your support gave me a lot of strength."

Earlier, the Delhi Police Cyber Cell and the Raipur Police had filed FIRs against Mohammad Zubair under sections of the IT Act and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The FIRs were filed after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) complained against Zubair over allegedly “threatening and torturing a girl child through Twitter”. The complaint refers to a tweet by Altnews’ co-founder on August 6.

A Twitter user Jagdish Singh (@JSINGH2252) had abused Zubair which prompted him to have a go at Singh. In doing so, Zubair posted a picture of Singh with a girl child (image blurred), possibly his granddaughter and wrote, "Hello Jagdish Singh, Does your cute granddaughter know about your part time job of abusing people on social media? I suggest you to change your profile pic (sic)."

Zubair's tweet met with harsh criticism for 'dragging' the little girl into his online spat. NCPCR's chairman Priyank Kanoongo had then taken cognizance of the tweet and said, "Necessary communication have been issued to @TwitterIndia and concerned law enforcement authorities for appropriate action."

Meanwhile, Zubair said that the FIRs were frivolous. This is an absolutely frivolous complaint. I will be responding to it legally," he said.

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Free Press Journal