Mohammad Zubair’s laptop, other devices with forensic lab for analysis: Delhi Police to HC

Mohammed Zubair. [File Photo]

New Delhi: Laptop and other devices that Delhi police seized from journalist Mohammed Zubair are deposited with the forensic science laboratory for recovering data that needs to be analyzed, the Delhi police told the High Court.

The devices were seized from Mohammed Zubair, who is also a co-founder of fact-checking organization Alt News, in connection with an alleged objectionable tweet posted by him in 2018 against a Hindu deity.

The police made the submissions in an affidavit filed in the high court in response to a plea by Zubair against his arrest and search and seizure exercise in a case related to the alleged objectionable tweet.

Zubair has challenged the legality and propriety of a trial court’s June 28 order granting the custody of fact-checking website’s founder to the police for four days, PTI reported.

As an interim relief, Zubair’s counsel has sought that till the petition is decided by the high court, the police shall not venture into Zubair’s laptop as the tweet was made through a mobile phone and not the computer.

The plea was filed before the Supreme Court granted interim bail to him on July 20. The news agency report said that Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav listed the matter for further hearing on October 31, while granting time to Zubair’s counsel to file a rejoinder in the case.

Quoting the police affidavit, the report said during the police custody remand, one laptop, two invoices, and a hard disk have been recovered from the Bengaluru residence of Zubair based on a disclosure statement which is admissible under the Indian Evidence Act and has to be looked upon at the time of trial.

It said that quashing the police custody remand order passed by the trial court will make the recovery inadmissible.

The peripherals seized during the police custody remand have already been deposited at Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini, Delhi. Data is to be recovered from these devices and is to be analysed with respect to the tweet in question and other similar-natured tweets done by accused Mohd Zubair (if retrieved). As such the seized articles/ devices are not beyond allegation, as mentioned by the petitioner in the prayer of the petition, the affidavit mentioned as per PTI.

It, however, said the petitioner may approach the concerned forum for the release of seized articles on ‘superdari’ (handing over custody of something to a person till next orders) as and when the analysis of these devices is complete.


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