The Supreme Court (SC,) on the 11th of June, ordered the release of Prashant Kanojia, a freelance journalist.
Prashant Kanoja was arrested on the 8th of June for posting a video on Twitter and Facebook.
Prashant, on the 6th of June, posted a video in which a woman was addressing reporters outside Yogi Adityanath’s office, claiming she sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath.
Soon after the video was posted, the Uttar Pradesh (UP) Government, on the 7th of June, filed a case of defamation against Prashant and alleged him of posting content defamatory towards Yogi Adityanath.
The Lucknow Police, on the 8th of June, arrested Prashant from his residence in Delhi and kept him under judicial custody.
On the 10th of June, Jagisha Arora, Prashant’s wife, moved the SC and filed a habeas corpus petition against the unconstitutional arrest of her husband.
On the 11th of June, the SC reviewed the plea of Jagisha Arora and granted bail to Prashant Kanojia.
The SC said, “Normally we don’t entertain these type of petitions. But a person can’t spend 11 days in jail (sic.)” The SC also criticised the Police for the unwarranted arrest, deeming it unconstitutional.
Prashant’s arrest drew a lot of criticism from the public and the opposition political parties. It also raised a question about the use of social media and the right to freedom of speech and expression.
Rahul Gandhi, the former President of the Indian National Congress (INC,) took to Twitter and criticised the action of the UP Government against Prashant.
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. https://t.co/KtHXUXbgKS
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 11, 2019