Apart from Kanojia, Ishita Singh, who heads the channel Nation Live and one of its editors, Anuj Shukla, were also arrested
Deeming freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia's arrest as illegal and deprivation of personal liberty, the Supreme Court on June 11 granted bail to the reporter.
From his arrest on June 8 to his release three days later, here are all the developments in the case so far:
# According to reports, an FIR was registered against Kanojia on the night of June 7 in Lucknow, accusing him of making "objectionable comments" against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
# The said comments, reports indicate, were made by the 26-year-old reporter in a video that he shared on Twitter and Facebook on June 6.
# The video purportedly shows a woman speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the CM's office, claiming that she had sent a marriage proposal to the CM.
# Apart from Kanojia, Ishita Singh, who heads the channel Nation Live and one of its editors, Anuj Shukla, were also arrested for broadcasting the video and allegedly propagating defamatory content.
# The day after the FIR was registered, according to Kanojia's wife, the journalist was taken away for questioning by plainclothes policemen.
# Reports suggest that the FIR was lodged "suo moto" by the Uttar Pradesh police, and was registered under Section 500 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 66 of the Information and Technology Act (IT Act).
# After outrage following the arrest, the UP police released a press statement stating that Kanojia made "obscene comments" and "spread rumours" on social media. The statement also added two provisions not mentioned in the FIR: Section 505 of IPC and Section 67 of the IT Act.
# A day after his arrest, the Editor's Guild of India on June 9 released a statement, calling Kanojia's arrest a "brazen misuse of law" and an effort to "stifle freedom of expression".
# On June 10, the journalist's wife filed a habeas corpus petition challenging the arrest and sought a direction to the UP Police to release him without any delay. The plea had also sought "exemplary damages" for Kanojia for his "illegal arrest".# On June 11, Congress President Rahul Gandhi tweeted in support of Kanojia, stating that UP CM Adityanath was "behaving foolishly".
If every journalist who files a false report or peddles fake, vicious RSS/BJP sponsored propaganda about me is put in jail, most newspapers/ news channels would face a severe staff shortage.
The UP CM is behaving foolishly & needs to release the arrested journalists. https://t.co/KtHXUXbgKS— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) June 11, 2019
# On June 11, the date the Supreme Court had agreed to hear the plea, a vacation bench, comprising Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi, ordered the UP government to release the journalist immediately on bail.
The bench had added that while it does not approve of the journalist's tweets on social media, the Right to Liberty, a fundamental right, is non-negotiable and cannot be infringed upon.
Who is Prashant Kanojia?
Kanojia is a freelance journalist who, according to his bio on Twitter, is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi and University of Mumbai.
The Noida-based reporter has bylines in The Indian Express and Wire Hindi.
According to his Facebook profile, Kanojia has also worked with BBC news.Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, independent equity analysis, actionable investment ideas, nuanced takes on macro, corporate and policy actions, practical insights from market gurus and much more.