A Delhi Court on Friday sent climate activist Disha Ravi , arrested for allegedly being involved in sharing a ‘toolkit’ on social media in connection with the ongoing farmers’ protest against three farm laws, in three-day judicial custody.
The court gave the decision after the Delhi Police said it wanted three days judicial custody as, during the course of investigation when the 22-year-old was put under five-day police custody, she had been evasive and and tried to shift the blame on the co-accused.
The police said that her custodial interrogation was not required for the time being but they may seek her further interrogation once co-accused Shantanu Muluk and Nikita Jacob joined the interrogation.
Mr. Muluk and Ms. Jacob have been asked to appear before the investigating agency on February 22. Ms. Ravi’s bail application is likely to come up for hearing before a sessions court on Saturday.
HC on documents ‘leakage’
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Friday ordered the Delhi Police to ensure that there is no leakage of any documents relating to its investigation into the FIR against Ms. Ravi. It, however, said the police could conduct press briefings in relation to the case “as per law” so long as no rights of her are violated.
The court direction came on Ms. Ravi’s plea seeking to restrain the police from leaking any investigation material relating to her case to the media.
Ms. Ravi has claimed that after her arrest, various messages were leaked by the police to the media, resulting in a large number of programmes, news bulletins and online dissemination of various private messages and interventions which were broadcasted.
“Some of the bulletins also made allegations that she is associated with various illegal and unlawful groups,” she stated. She pleaded for action against News18, India Today and Times Now for publishing contents or extracts of her private WhatsApp chats, claiming it to be “violative of fair trial rights and right to privacy”.
Taking note of the facts of the case, Justice Prathiba M. Singh said, “Recent coverage by the media definitely shows that there is sensationalism. While police briefings and the happenings in court proceedings etc. can also be broadcasted and disseminated, leaked investigation material ought not to be disseminated so as to prejudice the investigation”.
The court said, “Media houses shall also ensure that the telecast/broadcast by them is from verified/ authenticated sources, though the sources need not be revealed...The channel editors shall ensure that the channels exercise proper editorial control so that the Petitioner’s [Ms. Ravi) investigation is not hampered, in any manner.”
In this case, the police had taken an unequivocal position that they were not responsible for leaking the messages or the investigation material to the media houses, while the media houses, both in the online articles as also in the videos, claimed to the contrary.
The court remarked that this contradictory stand “would require a little more detailed examination”. It said that the question of removal of content, which was already in public domain would be considered at a later stage.
Ms. Ravi, a permanent resident of Bangalore, was arrested in connection with an FIR registered on February 4. The plea claimed that she was flown overnight to New Delhi without obtaining a transit remand in flagrant violation of her constitutional rights.