NEW DELHI: A journalist jailed for making derogatory comments on social media against a chief minister with the ruling-right wing party was ordered released by India’s Supreme Court on Tuesday, reports AFP.
Prashant Kanojia, a freelance journalist, was arrested Saturday after he uploaded and commented on a video of a woman claiming to be in love with Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu monk who is chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state.“The judges have directed (the) immediate release of Prashant today,” defence lawyer Shadan Farasat told reporters. Local media reports said the judges had criticised the high-handed manner of Kanojia’s arrest, calling it “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.
The court however said its order should not be seen as approval of Kanojia’s social media posts and that legal proceedings against him would continue according to law. The head of a local news channel that broadcast the video shared by Kanojia has also been arrested along with one of the editors, for operating without a license. A fourth person was arrested Monday for allegedly uploading altered images of Adityanath on Facebook.