HC reserves order on Kalita's plea to withdraw police note

new delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday reserved its order in the petition where Pinjra Tod activist, Devangana Kalita, arrested in one of the north-east Delhi riots cases, had sought for directions asking Delhi Police to withdraw a press note which accused her of "actively hatching a conspiracy to cause riots in Delhi".

While Kalita's lawyer, Advocate Adit S Pujari argued that the press note issued by police even before filing a chargesheet against his client, was infringing upon Kalita's right to a fair trial; the court observed that it is only considering whether the police was right in issuing such a note and whether the impugned note prejudiced the accused's right to a fair trial.

However, in earlier submissions, the Delhi Police had told the court, through ASG Aman Lekhi that it had issued the note in response to certain tweets made by Pinjra Tod accusing the police of bias. The police had said the note was issued to clear any perception among people that it was biased.

Pujari, in his final submissions, argued that the press note in question violated the Delhi Police's own Media Policy and that of the Ministry of Home Affairs. "These guidelines, as well as the judgement of the Bombay High Court, clearly state that the police should not rush to the press with half-baked information when the investigation is pending," he argued.

The single-judge bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru had earlier restrained the Delhi Police from issuing any such statements to the press or to the public. This interim order had been extended at every hearing.

Next Story
Share it