The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the city police for ‘leaking’ sensitive investigation information related to a Northeast Delhi riots case to the media. According to a report in The Indian Express, the High Court’s notice to Delhi Police was issued on a plea file by Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha.
Asif, 24, was arrested in connection with a case in a Northeast Delhi riots case over the Citizenship Amendment Act in December last year.
Asif in his petition sought from the court to pass an order for enquiry into alleged misconduct by the Delhi Police. He said that such disclosure at a time when his bail application is pending before a trial court, is an attempt to subvert the course of justice. The court has asked Delhi Police to reply by September 11.
Tanha, represented by lawyers Siddharth Aggarwal, Sowjhanya Shankaran, Abhinav Sekhri, Siddharth Satija and Nikita Khaitan, also urged the court to direct media houses (respondents in the case) to take down sensitive/confidential information for their platform.
“A confession made can’t find its way out. But it has found its way out,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru who issued notice to the respondents, including Delhi Police and two media houses, said.
The petitioner submitted that his application is against publication and broadcast by various news outlets of highly sensitive/confidential information in connection with ongoing criminal investigations, where the news outlets have made various statements based on purported disclosure statements given by the petitioner.
The petition said that the sole aim of such disclosures appears to be to vilify and severely prejudice the fair trial rights.
Asif said that the timing of the leak of false information purportedly from the police files creates a reasonable apprehension that the process of justice is being attempted to be subverted. The Jamia Millia Islamia student has filed a bail application which is under consideration before a trial court.
The petitioner also requested the court to issue guidelines on media reporting of the ongoing criminal investigations.