The Allahabad HC granted interim protection to Siddharth Varadarajan and Ismat Ara of The Wire in a case registered against them for tweeting a report on the death of a protester in New Delhi during the Republic Day incidents as it allegedly "mislead people".
The Bench of Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi and Justice Subhash Vidyarthi has also called for a counter-affidavit from the State of Uttar Pradesh within 3 weeks.
The Court was dealing with a plea filed by Siddharth Varadarajan and Ara seeking quashing of an FIR filed against them under IPC sections153B (imputations, assertions prejudicial to national integration) and 505(2) (statements creating or promoting enmity between classes) for tweeting a story on Navreet Singh Dibdibiya (farm law protestor who died during the protest in Delhi.)
The story (tweet) covered by Ismat Ara, mentioned that a protestor’s grandfather Hardeep Singh Dibdibiya was told by the doctors who conducted a post mortem on the young protestor, that he had died from a bullet injury and since the doctor’s hands were tied, he could not do anything. However, later on, the Rampur police had tweeted a statement saying that the doctors involved in Navreet Singh's post-mortem had denied the fact that they had spoken "to the media or any other person" or had provided any such information as is being attributed to them in the media.
It may be noted that Allahabad High Court, while granting them the protection from coercive action, also took into account the September 8, 2021 order of the Supreme Court in which two months protection was granted to the "The Wire" and three of its reporters from three FIRs registered against them by the Uttar Pradesh Police over some of the reports published by the portal.
The matter will be heard on November 24, 2021 now.