The Delhi High Court on Wednesday restrained Delhi Police from issuing any statements or circulating information regarding evidence allegedly collected against Devangana Kalita, a Pinjra Tod member, to any person including the media till July 9, the next date of hearing.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru asked the concerned Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of the Crime Branch to file a personal affidavit affirming whether any such information as is mentioned in the present petition has been circulated by the Crime Branch officials to third persons, journalists or on social media.
"In the meanwhile, the respondent is restrained from issuing any such statements or circulating information regarding allegations and evidence allegedly collected against the petitioner or other accused, to any person, including to the media or on social media platforms," the court said.
The court has listed the matter for hearing on July 9.
The court was hearing Devangana Kalita's plea seeking to stop all leaks of allegations against her to the media. She has alleged that Delhi Police is leaking information to the media, which is seeking to establish her guilt before the trial has even begun. She said that the leaks to the media can cause severe undesirable effects during the pendency of the case.
She sought to restrain and prevent the Delhi Police from further selective leaks related to case. She said that the Delhi Police has, through a media note, and selective leaks to the media on contents of charge-sheets, caused "immense damage to the reputation and fundamental right to a fair trial and a presumption of innocence."
Devangana Kalita was arrested in a case in connection with protests against Citizen Amendment Act in Delhi's Jafrabad area and was granted bail. Soon after getting bail in the protest case, she was arrested in another matter related to northeast Delhi violence being probed by Delhi Police and is currently under judicial custody.