New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India has stayed the arrest of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, journalists Rajdeep Sardesai, Vinod K. Jose, Mrinal Pande, Zafar Agha, Anant Nath and Paresh Nath over multiple FIRs registered in different states against them over tweets related to the farmers' protest.
A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, which fixed further hearing on the writ petitions after two weeks, issued notice to the government.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for Vinod K. Jose submitted that the petitioner had just reported someone shot dead and corrected it when the police denied it.
To this Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the tweets had a horrendous effect as their handles have following in lakhs.
On January 30, the Delhi Police registered a case against the petitioners for alleged sedition, among other charges, over the violence during the tractors parade carried out by the protesting farmers on the Republic Day.
The Noida Police also registered an FIR against the petitioners stating that the accused tried to imply that death of the farmer was due to the police violence.
Four FIRs were registered by Madhya Pradesh Police against the seven persons over their alleged "misleading" tweets on the violence during the parade.
At one point during the hearing, Advocate Tushar Mehta who appeared for Delhi police assured that they would not be arrested, the Chief Justice intervened to say that protection was necessary and such assurance was not enough, as there were FIR's in other states not represented by Mehta.
On January 26, thousands of protesting farmers stormed into Red Fort and hoisted Nishan Sahib flag on the poles in the ramparts of the building.