Plea to stop police ‘leaks’ to media houses in Delhi riots case: Notice issued to Delhi police, online platforms

The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to the Delhi Government, Delhi Police, Youtube, Facebook and several other media outlets on a plea filed by Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, arrested in the Northeast Delhi riots case, seeking a direction to media houses to take down sensitive/confidential information ‘leaked’ to them by officials of the Delhi Police.

The petitioner was aggrieved by various news reports appearing in the electronic media that the petitioner had confessed to organising and inciting communal riots that occurred in North-East Delhi.

The plea also sought an inquiry into the ‘misconduct’ of officials of the Delhi police who were responsible for leaking the information to media agencies.

The petitioner in the high court submitted that police officials coerced him to sign certain papers and make statements while in their effective custody.

The petitioner contended that the alleged disclosure statements, which are the subject matter of reports, were not given voluntarily and was inadmissible as evidence.

As per the report, the petitioner submitted to the court that the timing of this “leak” to the media and “publication of this false information purportedly from the police files, at a time when bail application of the petitioner was pending consideration before the trial court, created a reasonable apprehension that the process of justice was being attempted to be subverted”

The petitioner is in judicial custody and the chargesheet has not been filed as yet.

A single-judge bench presided by Justice Vibhu Bakhru issued the notice in the matter and directed the listing of the matter on September 11.

Last month, the Delhi High Court while hearing a plea by Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita who is one of the accused in the Delhi riots case, directed the Delhi Police not to issue any further communication naming any accused or any witness till the charges, if any, were framed and the trial had commenced in the matter.

“The cases concerning communal riots are undoubtedly sensitive cases. This Court is also informed that FIRs filed in such cases are not being publicly disclosed”, Justice Vibhu Bakhru had observed.

Photo Courtesy: The Hindu


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