New Delhi: Delhi Police on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that it has not leaked any information to any media house in connection with the ongoing probe against climate activist Disha Ravi, an accused in the toolkit case.
“No information/document forming part of the case file including the subject chats have either been shared by the respondent number 1 (Delhi Police) with any media house or individual except the information communicated officially through press briefing or broadcast, which is a matter of record, nor the same has been leaked from Respondent number 1’s end,” said the Delhi Police in its affidavit.
The police, in its affidavit filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell Unit) of Special Cell Anyesh Roy through advocate Amit Mahajan, said the allegation is “false and factually incorrect.”
Appearing on behalf of Delhi Police, Advocate Rajat Nair, denied that the leak of information has not happened from their end.
Justice Rekha Palli, who was hearing the case, listed the matter for further hearing on September 27. Disha Ravi, in her plea filed through advocates Abhinav Sekhri, Sanjana Srikumar and Krishnesh Bapat, sought to issue a direction to Delhi Police not to leak any investigation material in relation to FIR including alleged contents of private chats/communication by the petitioner to any third party, including the media.
Disha Ravi’s advocates also urged the Delhi High Court to issue direction to the Union of India to take appropriate action against certain media organisations and all other satellite TV channels under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and restrain them from publishing the contents and/or extracts of any alleged private chats (including WhatsApp chats) between her and third parties.
The climate activist’s counsel also sought to issue direction to News Broadcasting Standards Authority to take appropriate action against certain media houses and other members private news broadcasting channels under its guidelines for reporting on Disha Ravi in a manner that is violative of fair trial rights and right to privacy.
She also urged the court to issue a writ of mandamus or writ of like nature directing certain media houses and all private satellite TV channels to comply with the provisions of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
In the petition, Disha Ravi also urged the court to issue direction to the respondent media houses to forthwith take down the tweets that disclose the content of the petitioner’s alleged private WhatsApp chats and to forthwith take down its article based on the material extracted from an alleged WhatsApp conversation between the petitioner and Greta Thunberg.
Further, the petitioner also sought to restrain respondent media houses and all private satellite TV channels from further disseminating any alleged private WhatsApp messages or any other private conversations of the petitioner till the conclusion of the trial.
Disha Ravi said that she was flown overnight to New Delhi without obtaining transit remand in flagrant violation of her constitutional rights, and she was remanded to police custody for a period of five days.
She also said she preferred this petition as she is severely aggrieved and prejudiced by the media trial surrounding her arrest and the ongoing investigation, where she is being viscerally attacked by the respondent and several media houses, including respondents on the basis of leaked investigative matter and prejudicial press briefings, which is grossly violative of her right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence.
“The illegal actions and omissions on part of the respondents have irrevocably violated the petitioner’s fundamental right to privacy, her right to reputation, her dignity, and the consequent effect of the administration of justice and right to a fair trial – all guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution,” read the petition.