The Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of journalist Prashant Kanojia on bail, saying it had no intention of sitting back and watching a citizen being deprived of his personal liberty for his social media posts.

Mr. Kanojia’s family claims that he was picked up from his home on June 8 by plainclothesmen and taken to an undisclosed location allegedly for having shared on social media a video of a woman claiming she had sent a marriage proposal to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

However, the court later clarified in its order that the journalist’s release should not be construed as an “endorsement” of his tweets, but as a firm stand taken by the highest court to protect personal liberty. It said fundamental rights of free speech and personal liberty were “non-negotiable”.

He was arrested under Section 505 of IPC (statements conducing public mischief) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act (publication or transmission of obscene material in electronic form). The sections require extraordinary reasons to be put down in writing for arrest.