HC to hear in Aug plea by 2020 Delhi riots accused over ‘leak’ of ‘disclosure’ statement

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday said it will hear on August 2 a petition filed by northeast Delhi riots accused Asif Iqbal Tanha against the alleged leak of his “disclosure statement” in a case pertaining to the larger conspiracy behind the communal violence that took place here in 2020. Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma listed the plea for consideration in August after the counsel for the petitioner said the pleadings in the matter have been completed.

The matter was listed before Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma today after Justices Anup Jairam Bhambhani and Amit Sharma recused themselves from hearing the petition.

On April 12, Justice Bhambhani had recused himself from hearing the matter, saying a court’s act should never have a deleterious impact on the justice system’s credibility.

Justice Bhambhani had earlier expressed his reservations about hearing the matter after News Broadcasters and Digital Association (NBDA), with which he had had a “past association”, filed an intervention application in the case. He had said the court’s view must yield in favour of preserving the system’s credibility, which is derived not just from “fairness in fact”, but also from “fairness in perception”.

Thereafter, the matter was listed before Justice Amit Sharma, who also recused himself from hearing the plea.

Advocate Sowjhanya Shankaran, representing Tanha, told the court the intervention applications filed by News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) and News Broadcasters and Digital Association (NBDA) are pending for disposal.

Tanha had moved the high court in 2020 against certain media houses disseminating his alleged admission of guilt before even cognisance was taken by the trial court. In his petition, Tanha has said he was aggrieved by various publications reporting that he has confessed to orchestrating the 2020 northeast Delhi riots and alleged that he was coerced to sign certain papers in the effective custody of police.

He has contended that the action of two media houses of placing contents from the charge sheet in the public domain has violated the programme code.

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