SC Orders Immediate Release Of Journalist Jailed For Post on Yogi Adityanath

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of Journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police for “defaming” Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The right to liberty, a fundamental right, is non-negotiable, the court said as it granted bail.

“It is made clear that this order is not construed as an approval of tweets,” the apex court said.

Notably, the Supreme Court was hearing a petition by Prashant Kanojia’s wife Jagisha Arora, challenging his arrest on Saturday.

“Normally we don’t entertain these type of petitions. But a person can’t spend 11 day’s in jail,” the Supreme Court said.

Five people, including Kanojia, were arrested in two days on charges of posting allegedly objectionable content about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

The arrests over the weekend sparked a huge debate on social media on freedom of expression in the country, with the Editors Guild of India terming the journalists’ arrests “high-handed and arbitrary”. The editors’ body had said it amounted to “authoritarian misuse of laws”.

“I believe in Constitution. I have fought this case. I am happy,” Jagisha Arora told reporters outside the Supreme Court, soon after the hearing.

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