Taking into account that the liberty of a citizen is non- negotiable and cannot be allowed to be infringed, the Supreme Court directed on Tuesday to immediately release journalist Prashant Kanojia who was arrested for sharing objectionable post against UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi said that statements put by the journalist on social media were objectionable and such kind of comments should not have been made but held that arrest cannot be justified.
“We do not appreciate the tweet of the journalist but how can he be put behind the bars,” the bench said.
“We disapprove deprivation of liberty of the journalist by state action,” it said.
SC also deprecated the journalist for posting and sharing objectionable statements and posts on social media and said that state can go ahead with a probe against him and conduct a trial.
The court passed the order on a plea filed by the wife of Delhi-based journalist Prashant Kanojia.
Kanojia was picked up by Lucknow Police’s cyber-cell from his residence in Delhi on June 8 and was taken to Lucknow. An FIR was registered against Kanojia by Ashok Gupta, sub-inspector at Hazratganj police station in Lucknow. Gupta, in his FIR, stated that Kanojia posted the message to malign the image of the CM. Kanojia had shared a video in which a Kanpur-based woman, Hema Saxena, can be seen talking to reporters about writing a love letter to UP CM and that she wanted to spend rest of her life with him.
Challenging the action of state police, his wife Jagisha Arora approached the Supreme Court to get him released.