Delhi HC issues notice to NBSA, channels on Disha’s plea alleging information leak

In her plea, Disha alleged that the Delhi Police leaked information to the media related to the toolkit FIR against her


Justice Prathiba M. Singh of the Delhi High Court has issued notice to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), and television news channels: Times Now and News18, on a plea filed by environmentalist Disha Ravi. Her plea seeks to restrain Delhi Police from leaking any investigation material relating to the FIR filed against her in connection with the Toolkit case, reported LiveLaw.

The court has also directed the Delhi Police to file a counter affidavit in the matter by tomorrow morning, February 19 and also took on record Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s statement on behalf of Delhi Police that nothing has been leaked from their end to the media.

He told the Bench, “There has been no leakage from our side, we can also file an affidavit. Nothing is being shared. This is a call for media attention”. Senior Advocate Amit Sibal (appearing for Ravi) submitted, “They can say whatever, but the facts speak otherwise. She was arrested on 13th, and material was seized by police… Media itself says that they have got records from the police, how are they accessing these records?”

According to LiveLaw, Senior Counsel Amit Sibal refuted the SG’s claims and said, “This is a most unfortunate case where the media, in order to gain a few thousand TRPs, is trampling over the rights of the citizens. A 22-year-old has been arrested, and it’s being called a call for media attention?”

Disha Ravi had moved the Delhi High Court seeking to restrain Delhi Police from leaking any investigation material relating to the case including her personal chats/communication by her to a third party, as it impinges on her right to privacy and fair trial.

LiveLaw reported that her plea sought directions to be issued to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting seeking to take appropriate action against Times Now, India Today, News 18, and all other satellite TV channels allegedly reporting on the case in a manner which infringes Ravi’s right to privacy, and is “grossly violative of her right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence”.

The petition further states that the publication and transmission of the private alleged WhatsApp chats by various media houses, including Times Now, News 18 and India Today “is a clear violation of the provisions of the Cable Sections the Cable Televisions Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 (CTN Act), the Programme Code and the Uplinking and Downlinking Guidelines”.

The court has listed the matter for tomorrow, February 19 as “Item 1”.

The Greta Thunberg Toolkit has come under the police scanner after the international environment activist tweeted about it, raising eyebrows about its content. The Delhi Police have claimed that Disha Ravi edited the document which was meant to cause public disorder in connection with the farmers’ protest. Her five days of police custody ends tomorrow, February 19.


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