Supreme Court clubbed FIRs against Zubair of Alt News: Basics Explained


The Supreme Court(SC) last week clubbed six FIRs registered against Alt News cofounder Mohammed Zubair in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through his different tweets and transferred the probe to Delhi Police. The top court also granted bail to Zubair, facilitating his release after more than three weeks spent in custody.

In his petitions before the top court, Zubair invoked the principle of “sameness of offence” to urge the apex court to club the FIRs registered against them.

He also backed their petitions with references to earlier SC verdicts, which had held that multiplicity of FIRs in connection with one offence violates one’s constitutional right under Article 21 — right to life — and is also hit by the concept of “double jeopardy” under Article 20(2), which states no one “should be put twice to peril for the same offence”.


The right to freedom comes under one of the fundamental rights. It is enshrined in the Indian Constitution. (Art 19-22)

Article 19 of the Indian Constitution provides for six types of freedoms to the citizens of India. These are:

Freedom of Speech and Expression

Freedom of Assembly

Freedom to Form Associations or Unions or Cooperative Societies

Freedom of Movement

Freedom to Reside and to Settle

Freedom of Profession, Occupation, Trade or Business

Article 20: Protection in Respect of Conviction for Offences

Article 20 of the Indian Constitution provides protection against conviction to the person who is accused of any offence. It provides three safeguards to the person accused of any crime.

Article 20 (Clause (1)) of the Indian Constitution provides that a person cannot be convicted for an offence that he committed at a time when it was not acknowledged as an offence under the law. Also, a person can be subjected only to a penalty that was inflicted under the law at the time of the commission of the offence and not greater than that. ( Ex Post Facto Law )

Article 20(Clause (2)  of the Constitution of India provides protection against double jeopardy. Double jeopardy means that a person cannot be punished more than once for the same offence. This clause comprises the common law rule meaning no one should be set in peril twice for the same offence. ( Double Jeopardy )

In simple words, the doctrine of double jeopardy states that a person cannot be punished more than one time for the same offence. However, the rule of double jeopardy does not apply where the offences committed are not the same.

Article 20(Clause (3)   states that an accused cannot be forced to be a witness against himself. The accused person also has protection against self-incrimination. The accused person has a right not to make any such statement that is against his own will. (Prohibition Against Self-Incrimination)

Article 21: Protection of Life and Personal Liberty

Article 21 of the Indian Constitution contains the most important Fundamental Right available to every person, whether citizen or foreigner. Accordingly, it states that no one should be deprived of his life and personal liberty except by the procedure specified by the law. Also, the procedure must be just, fair and reasonable.

Art 21 A

The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine.

Article 22: Safeguards Against Arbitrary Arrest and Detention

Article 22 of the Constitution provides safeguards against arbitrary or incidental arrest and detention. Clauses (1) and (2) of this Article provide four rights to a person who is arrested for any offence under any ordinary law. And, these rights are:

The right to be informed of the ground of arrest as soon as possible.

Right to consult and to be represented by a lawyer of his choice.

Right to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours.

The right to freedom from detention beyond the said period except by order of the magistrate.


Leave a Comment


Welcome! Login in to your account

Remember me Lost your password?

Lost Password