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Delhi HC says media coverage shows ‘sensationalism, prejudice’

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Delhi High Court on Friday issued a set of guidelines on a petition filed by the climate activist Disha ravi looking for directions to Delhi Police not to disclose any investigative material regarding the ‘Toolkit’ case in the media, while noting that the coverage has been sensational and biased.

The 21-year-old activist, in the petition, stated that she is being visually assaulted by Delhi Police and the media on the basis of uncovered research issues and press releases. However, police have denied the allegations.

After hearing the matter extensively, Justice Prathiba Singh asked the Delhi Police to strictly adhere to the statement made by them on Friday, and an Office Memorandum dated 1 April 2010, which is in force. The judge said police could conduct press releases in accordance with the law.

“The media must ensure that television broadcasts come from verified and authentic sources. Editing teams must ensure that such broadcasts have verified content. Channel editors must ensure proper editorial control so that the investigation is not hampered. “further directed the court.

The court said that the media plays a very important role in ensuring that there is no sensationalism, but the latest coverage shows that there is definitely sensationalism and biased reporting.

Further, the applicant was asked to ensure that the people associated with him did not indulge in unnecessary or scandalous messages to ensure that the parties did not go on a wrongdoing course during the investigation.

The judge also raised various issues of public importance – privacy, the dignity of the individual in question, her right to a fair trial, the sovereignty and integrity of the country, reasonable restrictions that may be imposed and free speech and the right of the public to know

During the proceedings, Additional Advocate General SV Raju, appearing on behalf of the Delhi Police, told the court that the allegations against the police were false, adding that no such information regarding the case had been shared with the media.

“It has not been done officially. Someone may have discovered it unofficially. A person is also sitting there, so he may also be the source of the police. We do not intend to bring out anything that is illegal. This is for him. malicious police, “he said.

The Additional Attorney General further said that the leaked message is of February 3, while he was arrested 10 days later. “Therefore, she may have sent it to the people. She is using this to slander and humiliate the police so that we do not do our job properly. This is a systematic attempt to put pressure on investigative agencies.”

Additional Advocate General Chetan Sharma, which represents Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, also raised questions about the viability of the petition filed by Disha Ravi.

Attorney Akhil Sibal, appearing for the applicant, asked for four reliefs – media houses should give up their WhatsApp conversations, the media should refrain from sharing any details of the investigation, be in line with the program code and the police refrains from sharing any information with the media.

The climate activist was arrested by Bengaluru last week in connection with allegations of editing and sharing a ‘package’ on social media in connection with the farmers’ protest.

The Delhi Special Police Unit secured the court’s five-day custody of the 21-year-old climate activist to identify the Pro-Khalistani – Poetry Foundation of Justice group and its active members and recover the deleted WhatsApp group

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