Opinions vary, this isn’t murder: SC orders immediate release of UP scribe

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned Uttar Pradesh journalist Prashant Kanojia’s arrest for “defaming” Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The Supreme Court has ordered immediate release of Prashant Kanojia.

The court said, “Opinions may vary, he (Prashant) probably should not have published or written that tweet, but on what basis was he arrested. This is not murder.”

“Liberty of citizen is sacrosanct and non-negotiable. It is guaranteed by the constitution and it cannot be infringed,” the court added.

A vacation bench, comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi, said Right to Liberty, a fundamental right, is non-negotiable. However, the bench said the bail does not mean it approves of the journalist’s tweets or posts on social media.

The top court was hearing a petition by Kanojia’s wife, challenging his arrest on Saturday.

Prashant Kanojia, a freelance journalist, was arrested by Uttar Pradesh police in Delhi on Saturday for a tweet that had “objectionable comment” on Adityanath.

Kanojia was arrested after a complaint was filed alleging that he tried to “malign” the Chief Minister’s image. He had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook of a woman speaking to reporters outside Adityanath’s office, claiming that she had sent him a marriage proposal.

Apart from Kanojia, Ishika Singh, who heads private news channel Nation Live and Anuj Shukla, its editor was arrested, in Noida on Saturday. On June 6, during a debate on the channel, the woman, whose video Kanojia shared, had allegedly made defamatory remarks against the state CM.

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