Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita had moved Delhi HC against Delhi Police's note naming her in Delhi riots case
Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita had moved Delhi HC against Delhi Police's note naming her in Delhi riots case
Litigation News

Delhi Riots: Delhi HC restrains Delhi Police from making statements naming Pinjra Tod's Devangana Kalita till commencement of trial

The order was reserved by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru.

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today restrained the Delhi Police from issuing statements and communications naming Pinjra Tod's member Devangana Kalita in relation to the case concerning Delhi riots till the commencement of trial against her. (Devangana Kalita vs State)

The order was pronounced by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru in a plea by the Pinjra Tod activist who is also an accused in the Delhi riots case, against a Delhi Police press note publicizing information on allegations and evidence allegedly collected against her.

Justice Vibhu Bakru
Justice Vibhu Bakru

Observing that the Delhi riots cases are "undoubtedly sensitive", the Single Judge Bench proceeded to restrain the Police from issuing such contentious statements till the stage of framing of charges against Kalita and the commencement of trial against her.

The Court also noted that during the time of the trial, however, the Police cannot be restrained in this regard.

Pinjra tod member, Kalita is an accused in as many as four FIRs pertaining to the anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots, namely, FIR Nos 250/2019, 48/2020, 50/2020 and 59/2020.

She is presently in judicial custody.

Last month, Kalita had moved the High Court after Delhi Police circulated information in the form of a "Brief Note", which was alleged to be misleading and was prejudicial.

Counsel for Kalita argued that the note circulated selective information to media which was likely to place her and her family members at risk.

It was highlighted that in one of the petitions seeking copies of FIRs in Delhi riots cases, Delhi Police had itself asserted that information on victims and accused was sensitive in nature and could not be shared.

While issuing notice in the petition, the Court had restrained Delhi Police from circulating any information on Devangana Kalita or other accused in FIRs pertaining to the anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots, to any person or media.

In defence, Delhi Police had argued that the note was an attempt to safeguard its reputation and sustain the legal process.

It was submitted that in light of the social media campaign maligning the Delhi Police for Kalita's arrest, the press note was only an attempt to put "things in right perspective".

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