Delhi Police arrested Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair on June 27 in a case related to an objectionable tweet he had posted in 2018 against a Hindu deity.

He was produced in a court here on Saturday and police sought his 14-day judicial custody in the case. His four-day police custody ended on Saturday.

The Judge granted the Police submission and ordered 14-day judicial custody. 

The lawyer of Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair on Saturday expressed shock over a Delhi Police official “leaking” news to the media that the jailed accused in a case related to an “objectionable tweet” against a Hindu deity was denied bail and his judicial custody extended.

The controversy started when news of rejection of the bail plea of fact-checker Zubair was being run, quoting the police as the source when the court was yet to pronounce its order for the plea.

“I am shocked to see that DCP KPS Malhotra has leaked in the media ‘ki hamara bail reject ho gaya hai. Aur 14 din ka JC grant hui hai (that the bail plea has been rejected and judicial custody has been extended by 14 days). I have learnt this from the Twitter posts of news channels and some law reporters. They all are citing KPS Malhotra as source,” lawyer Soutik Banerjee said outside the courtroom here.

“It is extremely scandalous and it speaks of the status of rule of law in our country today. That even before the judicial magistrate has sat and pronounced the order, the police have leaked the order to the media. How KPS Malhotra knows what the order is. This calls for serious, serious introspection,” the lawyer said.

Inside court Delhi Police on Saturday said Pravda Media, under which Alt News operates, received over Rs 2 lakh through various transactions wherein either the mobile phone number or the IP address was of foreign countries.

From the analysis of a reply received from Razorpay payment gateway, it was revealed that there were various transactions in which either the mobile phone number was of outside India or the IP address was of foreign countries and cities, including 

Bangkok, Australia, Manama, North Holland, Singapore, Victoria, New York, England, Riyadh Region, Sharjah, Stockholm, Abu Dhabi, Washington, Kansas, New Jersey, Ontario, California, Texas, Lower Saxony, Bern, Dubai, Scotland, a statement issued by the police said.

On a whole a total of Rs 2,31,933 was received by Pravda Media through these transactions, it added.

During social media analysis, it was noticed that Twitter handles that supported Zubair and had tweeted in his support after his arrest were mostly from the middle eastern countries like the UAE, Bahrain, and Kuwait as well as countries like Pakistan, the statement said.

Police as a result have invoked new provisions sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and section 35 of the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act against Zubair.

Earlier, a case was registered against him under sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, language, etc) and 295A (deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code).