New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday questioned Uttar Pradesh government over journalist Prashant Kanojia arrest for ‘defamatory post’ on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The apex court has asked the UP government to release the journalist immediately. Stating that a person could not be put behind bars for 11 days for a social media post, the SC said,”Show magnanimity in releasing freelance journalist.”
“Opinions may vary, he (Prashant) probably should not have published or written that tweet, but on what basis was he arrested,” the SC asked while hearing the plea of Kanojia’s wife, Jagisha Arora. It added,”People are intelligent. They know everything put up on social media isn’t correct.”
The court further observed,”Liberty of citizen is sacrosanct and non-negotiable. It is guaranteed by the constitution and it cannot be infringed.”
Kanojia was arrested on Sunday at Hazratganj police station for allegedly uploading a video on Twitter where a woman was making claims about a marriage proposal to the Uttar Pradesh CM.
Along with him, Ishika Singh, head of a Noida-based news channel and Anuj Shukla, an editor of the channel that aired the video were also arrested.
Reacting sharply to the arrests, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on Tuesday slammed CM Yogi, saying the latter is’ ‘behaving foolishly’.
“If every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about me is put in jail, most newspapers/ news channels would face a severe staff shortage. The UP CM is behaving foolishly & needs to release the arrested journalists,” Gandhi had tweeted earlier in the day.