The Delhi High court was hearing a petition filed by climate activist Disha Ravi to stop police from leaking information to media about the FIR lodged against her.
By Proiti Das
New Delhi: Climate activist Disha Ravi who was arrested for alleged involvement in sharing a toolkit document about farmers’ protest last Thursday, moved a plea to the Delhi high court seeking to stop police from leaking probe information to the media.
After the arrest of Disha Ravi last week, excerpts of WhatsApp messages allegedly sent by her was reported to certain media outlets. The petition was filed challenging the same.
Although the Delhi Police told the Delhi HC that it has not leaked any kind of probe material to the media about FIR launched against Ravi.
The submission in favor of this claim was made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared on behalf of the police in the court. The matter is being heard by the HC bench headed by Justice Pratibha M. Singh.
SG Mehta considered Ravi’s petition as a “media attention-seeking plea”. He told the court that an affidavit will be filed regarding the same by the police tomorrow. However, the court said that Ravi’s petition is “something that requires consideration”.
The court issued notice to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority and few media houses like NBSA, News 18 and Times Now as reported by Bar and Bench, regarding publishing extracts of Ravi’s private WhatsApp chats. The court will again hear the matter tomorrow.
Ravi was arrested on 13th February, from her house in North Bengaluru by a Cyber Cell team of the Delhi Police. She was put under a police custody of five days. According to the Delhi Police, Ravi had allegedly been a part of the toolkit document making on the farmer’s protests that was tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. However she says she had only edited two lines of it.
What is a toolkit?
A toolkit is a document created to explain any issue that might include information about petitions, details about protests and mass movements.
Although the police had claimed that the toolkit was aimed at spreading ill-will against the government of India which can create disharmony among social and religious groups. They had also claimed that the sequence of events related to the farmers’ protests specifically the alleged violent incidents at the Red Fort on Republic Day’s tractor rally, was an outcome of the alleged plan of action in the document.
The police have so far arrested Ravi while advocate and activist Nikita Jacob and activist Shantanu Muluk secured a transit bail before hand. A non-bailable warrant was issued in Delhi in the case, on a Rs 25,000 personal bond and sureties against Jacob. The protection is granted for a period of three week for Jacob from Wednesday while Muluk was granted a 10 day pre-arrest bail on Tuesday.
The Delhi court had directed Delhi Police to hand over a copy of the FIR and other documents related to Ravi arrest as well as provide her with copies of the arrest memo and remand paper.
The court also permitted her to get warm clothes, masks and books.
Several protests both online and offline had been staged against the arrest of Disha Ravi by the youth, environmental activists and other opposition organizations across the country.
Now the Delhi police is expanding its investigation into the toolkit Google document and further look into the role of a UK-based member of the NGO Extinction Rebellion or XR, of which Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk are members.