Following a plea filed by 22-year-old Disha Ravi, the Delhi High Court has issued a notice to News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), Times Now, and News18 in the alleged leak of police information. The court also directed the Delhi police to file a counter affidavit in the matter.
In her plea, the environmental activist, who was arrested and remanded in the Greta Thunberg toolkit case, alleged that the news organisations have been running one-sided reports in the case. She also added that the court considers her matter and restrain the police from leaking any further information to the media, as they have been publishing “one-sided defamatory, suggestive innuendos, and half-truths”.
However, describing it as an effort to grab media attention, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court that there has been no leakage from the police’s side. Responding to this, senior advocate Amit Sibal, who appeared for Disha, said that the facts speak otherwise. “She was arrested on February 13, and the materials were seized by the police. Meanwhile, the media has been claiming that they have got records from the police. How are they accessing these records?” he asked. Moreover, he added that the current media campaign is a violation of privacy, as well as a violation of her right to fair trial and presumption of innocence.
The arrest of 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi had resulted in widespread condemnation from politicians to activists and even a few law practitioners. Several legal experts questioned Delhi Police for charging the activist with sedition charges. The Police charged her with sedition, promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy over her alleged role in the farmers’ protest ‘toolkit’.
On Sunday afternoon, she was presented before a Delhi Court, where the public prosecutor alleged that Disha was a part of a larger conspiracy — with links to Khalistani separatists — against the central government. The young climate activist broke down while denying the allegations and said she was not part of any conspiracy. “I was just supporting the farmers because they are our future and we all need to eat,” she said, adding that she didn’t create the toolkit and made just two edits to it.
According to Delhi Police, Disha is “one of the editors of the Toolkit Google Doc and a key conspirator in the document’s formulation and dissemination.” In a series of tweets, the Delhi Police said, “Disha Ravi, arrested by CyPAD Delhi Police, is an Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc and key conspirator in document's formulation and dissemination. She started WhatsApp Group and collaborated to make the Toolkit doc. She worked closely with them to draft the Doc.