Disha plea against 'leaks' to media: HC gives Delhi police last chance to respond

Disha Ravi had filed a petition on February 18 asking the police to be restrained from leaking to the media any material about the FIR lodged against her.
Disha Ravi
Disha Ravi
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The Delhi High Court Wednesday granted last opportunity to the Centre and Delhi Police to file their response on a plea by climate activist Disha Ravi for restraining the police from leaking to the media any material in relation to the FIR lodged against her in the toolkit case. Justice Prathiba M Singh said the central government and Delhi Police shall file their counter affidavits within two weeks and listed the matter for further hearing on May 18.

"A last and final opportunity is granted to the Centre and Delhi Police to file their counter affidavits within two weeks and rejoinder by petitioner thereafter," the court said.

Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma and advocate Ajay Digpaul, representing the Centre, and advocate Amit Mahajan, appearing for Delhi Police, sought more time to file their replies to the petition.

Ravi was arrested by Delhi Police on February 13 for allegedly being involved in sharing a "toolkit" on social media related to the farmers' protest, and was granted bail by a trial court here on February 19.

Ravi, in her plea, has said 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 1 (police) and several media houses". She also accused Times Now, India Today and News18 of holding a ‘media trial’ against her in the plea.

She has claimed that her arrest from Bengaluru on February 13 by a Cyber Cell team of Delhi Police was "wholly unlawfully and without basis".

She has also contended that in the present circumstances, it was "highly likely" that the general public will perceive the news items "as being conclusive as to the guilt of the petitioner (Ravi)".

She has claimed that the police first "leaked investigative material" -- like alleged WhatsApp chats -- the substance and details of which were only in the possession of the investigating agency.

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