NEW DELHI: A Delhi court Friday sought Enforcement Directorate's (ED) on a plea by suspended AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain alleging "trial by media" against him in a money laundering case related to northeast Delhi riots.
The plea also sought roll-back of the alleged defamatory content published against him in the media.
Additional Sessions Judge Amitabh Rawat issued notice to the ED and put up the matter for further consideration for January 28.
"Let notice of this application be issued to the complainant/Enforcement Directorate for January 28, 2021," the court said.
According to the plea, filed through advocate Rizwan, certain sections of the media allegedly published articles which have already proved Hussain "guilty" even before the court has given its decision in the case.
Rizwan sought time from the court to file the transcripts of the alleged defamatory news coverage.
He said that Hussain was an undertrial and not a convict.
He further said the contents of the charge sheet, which stated that Hussain had allegedly used myriad web transactions and funded anti-CAA protests by arranging cash, were mere allegations and not proven facts.
The plea sought the court's direction to order the media houses to stop their "trial" against Hussain.
It also sought police protection for the family members of Hussain.
It claimed that Hussain was a victim of the alleged "media trial", due to which his right to a fair trial has been violated and he has been allegedly declared as guilty for the offences he has not committed.
The plea said Hussain suffered mental harassment due to this and due to the widespread poignant coverage of the media, people have allegedly made certain perceptions against him, making it nearly impossible for the trial to result in a fair judgement.
"Due to the false and concocted perceptions made by the people against the accused (Hussain), it is apprehended that the accused's family is also prone to extreme danger and risks. It is submitted that it can become life-threatening and also they suffer from mental harassment on a daily basis."
"That in certain cases, the Supreme Court of India has stated that the trial by press, electronic media, social media or any public agitation are instances which could be described as the antithesis of the general rule of law, leading to the miscarriage of justice," it claimed.
It further claimed that if the application was not allowed then the accused would suffer irreparable losses and injury which cannot be compensated by any means whatsoever.
Communal violence had broken out in northeast Delhi on February 24 last year after clashes between citizenship law supporters and protesters spiralled out of control leaving at least 53 people dead and around 200 injured.
The ED was probing the allegation that Hussain and his linked persons laundered about Rs 1.10 crore funds by using purported shell or dummy companies to fuel the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the riots.