Journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was arrested from Delhi for his comments about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on social media, was released from jail on Wednesday, NDTV reported. The Supreme Court had ordered the release of the journalist on bail on Tuesday.
Chief Judicial Magistrate (in-charge) in Lucknow, Sanjai Kumar, had earlier in the day directed the release of the journalist on furnishing of two sureties of Rs. 20,000 each and a personal bond for the same amount.
Kanojia stepped out of Lucknow jail wearing a T-shirt which said “deshbhakt” (patriot). His wife Jagisha Arora told PTI: “We will not like to talk today, will speak tomorrow.”
While issuing the order, the chief judicial magistrate directed Kanojia to not repeat the offence, influence witnesses or extend a threat to any witness while on bail.
Outside the court, his wife said that she was satisfied with the Supreme Court order. “I have to say only one thing that whatever order has come from the Supreme Court, I am very happy and satisfied,” Arora said. “My trust on the Constitution is intact. I don’t want to say anything else.”
A vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi passed the order on a habeas corpus petition filed by Kanojia’s wife, seeking his release. The bench said Kanojia’s arrest and remand was illegal, which resulted in “deprivation of personal liberty”.
“Opinions may vary, he [Kanojia] probably should not have published or written that tweet, but on what basis was he arrested?” the top court asked. The court said that an order of the magistrate placing Kanojia in remand till June 22 is not appropriate.
Kanojia’s wife had moved the top court on Monday after he was arrested in Delhi on Saturday for his comments about Adityanath on social media. A first information report was registered against the journalists the previous night alleging that he made comments “maligning the image of the chief minister”.
In the video that Kanojia shared, a woman is seen speaking to reporters outside the chief minister’s office claiming that she had been talking to Adityanath over video chat and had sent a marriage proposal to him. Kanojia was a former journalist at The Wire Hindi.