The Supreme Court has granted bail to journalist Prashant Kanojia who was arrested for allegedly making objectionable comments against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on social media.
A vacation bench, comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi, said Right to Liberty, a fundamental right, is non-negotiable as it granted bail.
The court said, “Opinions may vary. He (Prashant) probably should not have published or written that tweet, but on what basis was he arrested?”
“The liberty of citizen is sacrosanct and non-negotiable. It is guaranteed by the Constitution and it cannot be infringed upon. We are troubled by the arrest,” the apex court said.
The Supreme Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to “show magnanimity in releasing” the journalist.
However, the bench said granting bail does not mean that it approves of the journalist’s tweets or posts on social media.
Kanojia had shared a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to Adityanath. The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the journalist’s wife, which called his arrest “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.
The court, while observing that it was not a murder case, said the case could continue but Kanojia must be released on bail.