The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered immediate release of journalist Prashant Kanojia who was arrested for sharing a post against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Supreme Court said ordering his release that journalist Prashant Kanojia's arrest by the Uttar Pradesh police for "defaming" Yogi Adityanath "is not murder".
The top court was hearing a petition by Kanojia's wife, challenging his arrest on Saturday. "Normally, we don't entertain these types of petitions. But a person can't spend 11 days in jail," the Supreme Court said.
The UP police defended Kanojia’s arrest and said he had made inflammatory tweets in the past too. “He has been making inflammatory tweets in the past not only with respect to caste matters but also gods and that’s why he was arrested,” said additional solicitor general Vikramjeet Banerjee.
A total of five people, including Kanojia, were arrested in two days on charges of posting allegedly objectionable content about the Chief Minister. 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".