Toolkit case: Delhi Police must ensure probe material is not leaked to media, says High Court

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February 19, 2021 1:38 PM

The Delhi High Court Friday said certain media coverage of investigation in the FIR against climate activist Disha Ravi for her alleged involvement in sharing a toolkit backing farmers' protest, indicates "sensationalism and prejudicial reporting", but declined to order removal of any such content at this stage.

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The Delhi High Court Friday said certain media coverage of investigation in the FIR against climate activist Disha Ravi for her alleged involvement in sharing a toolkit backing farmers’ protest, indicates “sensationalism and prejudicial reporting”, but declined to order removal of any such content at this stage.

Justice Prathiba M Singh said the interim plea for removal of such news content and tweets by Delhi Police would be considered at a later stage.

The court, however, asked media houses to ensure that no leaked investigation material is broadcast as it could affect the probe and directed Delhi Police to abide by its stand, on affidavit, that it has not leaked nor intends to leak any probe details to the press.

The court said the police would be entitled to hold press briefings in the matter in accordance with the law and the agency’s 2010 office memorandum with regard to media coverage of cases.

To media houses, the court said they should ensure the information received from their sources is authentic and only verified content ought to be publicised as also that the investigation is not hampered.

The court was hearing Ravi’s plea to restrain police from leaking to the media any probe material in relation to the FIR lodged against her.

The petition has also sought to restrain the media from publishing the content or extract of any private chats, including those on WhatsApp, between her and third parties. P

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