NEW DELHI: On a day a local court placed activist Disha Ravi in three-day judicial custody in connection with the toolkit case, the Delhi High Court on Friday underlined her right to privacy and told media houses not to sensationalise the coverage of the probe.
The high court passed the directions on a plea filed by Disha regarding leak of probe details, and sensational coverage by media houses.
Earlier, seeking more time to interrogate Disha, the Delhi Police told a court: “We have issued notices to several others to join the probe. We want to confront Disha and Shantanu. During the course of interrogation, Disha shifted the blame onto Nikita and Shantanu.”
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In the high court, Additional Solicitor General Suryaprakash V Raju strongly opposed Disha’s petition, saying the activist was defaming and vilifying the police. He claimed that the petition was a systematic attempt to blame the police and derail the investigation.
However, the high court stated: “Right to privacy, the sovereignty and integrity of the country and the freedom of speech need to be balanced. The recent coverage definitely shows there is sensationalised reporting by the media. While press briefings are held generally, media cannot disseminate the information in such a sensationalised manner.”
Upholding the journalistic ethics of not disclosing the source, the court, however, directed media houses to base their coverage on verified and authentic sources.
Disha had moved the high court seeking to restrain the police from leaking to the media any probe material in relation to the FIR lodged against her.
The petition had also sought to restrain the media from publishing the content of her private chats.
‘Freedom of speech not negotiable’
Five days after Disha Ravi’s arrest, Greta Thunberg tweeted: “Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest and assembly are non-negotiable human rights. These must be a fundamental part of any democracy. #StandWith DishaRavi.”