Courts Update Unable to establish who leaked Asif Iqbal Tanha charge...

Unable to establish who leaked Asif Iqbal Tanha charge sheet details, confession to media: Delhi Police tells HC


New Delhi Aug 5(ILNS): The Delhi Police informed the Delhi High Court that a bunch of journalists has been investigated in relation to the leakage of the contents of the supplementary charge sheet and the alleged confessional statement made by Asif Iqbal Tanha, accused of the North-East Delhi riots conspiracy.

However, nothing substantial was revealed during the said investigation as the journalists refused to disclose the details of their sources from where they had accessed the investigation-related documents, the Bench comprised by Justice Mukta Gupta was told.

The Delhi Police filed an inquiry report in pursuance of the order passed by the Court on March 5, 2021, directing the Commissioner of Police to ascertain as to who is responsible for the contents of the supplementary charge-sheet being leaked.

The Delhi Police stated that a detailed inquiry was conducted subsequently, but the inquiry could not establish the officers or office from where the details of the investigation were shared with the media.

Further, the Delhi Police stated that directions have been issued to ensure that such issues are not repeated in the future; and further to ensure that case files must be handled with the utmost alacrity, as also charge sheets must be filed by strictly following the due process of law.

The matter has been deferred till August 11, 2021.

The Court, on the last date of hearing, granted additional two weeks’ time to the Delhi Police to file its inquiry report after Mr. Rajat Nair, Special Public Prosecutor appearing on behalf of the State, submitted that a comprehensive inquiry over the alleged leak of the contents of the charge-sheet is underway.

The Court reminded him that the vigilance inquiry report filed by the Delhi Police earlier, in relation to the leakage of a disclosure statement made by Tanha, was a ‘useless piece of paper’ and had nothing in it.

At the outset, a petition was filed by the Jamia Millia Islamia student, Asif Iqbal Tanha, who was accused of the North-East Delhi riots conspiracy, through Advocate Sowjanya Shankar. He has contended that various news and electronic media houses reports were alleging that he has confessed to organizing and inciting communal riots that occurred in North-East Delhi in February 2020. In this light, he sought directions to various media houses and social media platforms to take down the confidential information and frame guidelines with regards to media reporting in the criminal investigation.

He was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), in May last year and was enlarged on bail by the Delhi High Court in June 2021./ILNS/KR/SV/SNG


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