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Alleged Leakage Of Confessional Statement Of Delhi Riots Accused- Zee News And OP India Violated The Programme Code: Petitioner Tells Delhi HC

first_imgNews UpdatesAlleged Leakage Of Confessional Statement Of Delhi Riots Accused- Zee News And OP India Violated The Programme Code: Petitioner Tells Delhi HC Sparsh Upadhyay30 Nov 2020 1:08 AMShare This – x”The vigilance inquiries in regard to the documents/confessional statement being leaked from the case diaries has been concluded.”, SPP submitted before the Court.On Thursday (26th November), the counsel (Advocate Siddharth Aggarwal) appearing for the 24-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia, Asif Iqbal Tanha stated before the Delhi High Court that Zee News & OpIndia violated Programme Code by making public the alleged confessional statement of Tanha. The Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru was hearing the plea of the petitioner…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginOn Thursday (26th November), the counsel (Advocate Siddharth Aggarwal) appearing for the 24-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia, Asif Iqbal Tanha stated before the Delhi High Court that Zee News & OpIndia violated Programme Code by making public the alleged confessional statement of Tanha. The Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru was hearing the plea of the petitioner (Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha) who is aggrieved by the various news reports appearing in electronic media reporting that the petitioner has confessed to organizing and inciting communal riots that that occurred in North-East Delhi. Importantly, Tanha’s counsel also submitted before the Court that apart from examining the question as to the steps taken by the respondents regarding the leak of the documents in question, “it is also apparent that a cognizable offence has been committed and therefore, it is also necessary that appropriate criminal proceedings be instituted.” This was in response to the submissions made by SPP Amit Mahajan, the counsel appearing for respondent no.1 (DCP Special Cell, New Delhi) and 2, who stated before the Court that “the vigilance inquiries in regard to the documents/confessional statement being leaked from the case diaries has been concluded.”Further, he sought time to file a status report in this regard. The Court granted directed that the same be done within a period of one week from today (26th November). The Court also directed, “The status report shall also indicate as to further steps proposed to be taken by the respondent nos. 2 and 3 (Zee News).” Case against Asif Iqbal Tanha It may be noted that in May 2020, the 24-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia, Asif Iqbal Tanha was arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the violence in North East Delhi in February 2020 [under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act]. “He is a close associate of Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam, Meeran Haider and Safoora [Zargar] who had been the key members of anti-CAA protests and subsequent riots in the national capital,” an official had said. Grievance of the Petitioner (Asif Iqbal Tanha) A petition has been moved by Jamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha (Petitioner in the Case) seeking a direction for media houses and social-media to take down sensitive information (allegedly leaked by police to media channels) connected to the investigation in his case. It was also argued before the HC that the leak was aimed to vilify and prejudice his right to a fair trial. Significantly, on Monday (24th August), Asif Iqbal Tanha’s (Petitioner) represented by lawyers Siddharth Aggarwal, Sowjhanya Shankaran, Abhinav Sekhri, Siddharth Satija and Nikita Khaitan submitted before the Bench of Justice Bakhru that the petition had been filed “against publication and broadcast by various news outlets of highly sensitive/confidential information in connection with the on-going criminal investigations, where the news outlets have made various statements based on purported disclosure statements were given by the petitioner”, and the “sole aim of such disclosures appears to be to vilify and severely prejudice the fair trial rights” of the petitioner. The petitioner, in his petition, has specifically prayed that directions be issued to respondent nos. 3 (Zee News), 4 (OpIndia), 5 and 6 and various other media agencies to take down the sensitive/confidential information leaked to them by the officials of respondent no.2. The petitioner has further prayed in the Petition that inquiry be conducted into misconduct of the officials of respondent no.2 who are responsible for leaking the information to respondent nos. 3 and 6 and other media agencies. The petitioner has also submitted before the Court that he was coerced by the police officials to sign certain papers and make statements while in their effective custody. The petitioner further contended that the alleged disclosure statements, which are the subject matter of reports were not given voluntarily, and thus, are inadmissible as evidence. Devangana Kalita’s Case Notably, Tanha’s lawyers submitted before the Court that in a recent order passed by Justice Bakhru, the Delhi Police was restrained from issuing any communication related to Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita (arrested in a riots case), until the charges, if any, are framed and the trial commences. In this connection, Tanha’s Lawyers had argued that “these illegal acts of the respondent investigating agency are nothing but a mischievous attempt to circumvent the clear and unequivocal directions of a single-judge bench of this court”. It may be noted that in July 2020, the Delhi High Court had restrained Delhi Police from issuing any further statement against Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita till the framing of the charges and the commencement of trial against her. While retraining the Delhi Police for making such statements against Kalita at this stage, the Single Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru had highlighted that cases of riots are undoubtedly sensitive in nature. The order had come in a criminal writ moved by Pinjra Tod member, Devangana Kalita seeking mandamus to be issued to the Delhi Police to not leak any allegations pertaining to the petitioner to the media pending investigation, and thereafter during trial. Court’s Earlier Orders The Delhi High Court had, on Thursday (15th October) directed ‘Zee News’ to file an affidavit clearly disclosing the source from where the alleged confessional statement of the petitioner (Asif Iqbal Tanha) was received. The Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru gave this direction after respondent no.1 (DCP Special Cell, New Delhi) informed the Court that none of the police personnel involved in the investigation leaked out any details of the investigation. Further, the Delhi High Court had on Thursday (19th November) given one more opportunity to Zee News to disclose the source from which the allotted confessional statement of a Delhi riots accused is retrieved. While granting the opportunity, the Single Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru denied the request for submitting in a sealed cover the name of the journalist who retrieved the said confessional statement.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more