Disha Ravi arrest: Delhi HC raps Centre for not filing reply, but allows four week extension
During the hearing, Justice Rekha Palli questioned why the Centre had not made the submission even after being given a last opportunity to do so in March.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday criticised the Centre for not filing its reply in a case lodged against Disha Ravi, who was arrested on charges of sedition for her alleged role in creating an online document intended to help amplify the farmer protest, reported The Indian Express.
During the hearing, Justice Rekha Palli said: “What is the meaning of the last opportunity. Should I impose costs on you? What is the sanctity of last and final opportunity?”
On March 17, the Delhi High Court had given the Centre and the police one last chance to file their reply on Ravi’s plea that raised concerns about media leaks in the farm protest documents case. The activist had sought to restrain the police from leaking investigation material in relation to the first information report filed against her.
The central government cited the rise in Covid-19 cases as the reason for the delay in filing its reply. Following this, the court gave a four-week extension to file counter-affidavits and the rejoinder to be filed within three weeks, reported Live Law.
In February, the Delhi High Court had said that the media coverage following the arrest of the 22-year old climate activist showed that there was “sensationalised reporting”. The court also said that the right to privacy, sovereignty and integrity of the country and freedom of speech needed a balance.
Ravi was arrested on February 13 in a case filed by the Delhi Police in connection with an online document, referred to as a “toolkit”, intended to help amplify farmer protests. The “toolkit” – a common term used by social activists for campaign material – was tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Ravi was released from Tihar Jail on February 23 after nine days in custody.
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