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Delhi HC Expresses Dissatisfaction Towards The Affidavit Filed By Delhi Police Which Accuses Devangana Kalita Of Peddling Fake Narratives

Karan Tripathi
9 July 2020 1:47 PM GMT
Delhi HC Expresses Dissatisfaction Towards The Affidavit Filed By Delhi Police Which Accuses Devangana Kalita Of Peddling Fake Narratives
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Delhi High Court has expressed dissatisfaction towards the averments made in the affidavit filed by the Delhi Police wherein it is stated that Kalita is 'guilty of peddling false narratives of a political vendetta, state sponsored pogrom, persecution and malicious prosecution.'

The Single Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru further noted that the present affidavit mentions statements which are beyond the scope present petition and doesn't address the concerns raised by the Petitioner.

The court said:

'We wanted DCP to file an affidavit so that he can explain as to the statements made by him were part of an official press communique or they were made in personal capacity.'

The court further added:

'We can't allow such an affidavit to remain on record before a High Court unless you (Delhi Police) swear by the statements made therein… and if you know wanted to file a false affidavit, we'll take appropriate action against you.'

Challenging the averments made in the affidavit, Mr Adit S Pujari, who was appearing for Kalita, submitted that she has been vilified across the media for the statements made by the concerned officer.

He also pointed out that Kalita's parents receive messages asking them whether their daughter instigated the persecution of Hindus.

'There needs to be some sense of responsibility imposed upon the officers who make these statements. The language used in the status report in abhorrent', Mr Pujari submitted.

Mr Pujari further argued that while chargesheet has not been filed against Kalita, the concerned officers of the Delhi Police are already issuing statements linking Kalita with the conspiracy to commit riots and mass violence.

While countering the affidavit which says that the statements made by the police were in response to the narrative run by Kalita on social media, Mr Pujari said:

'What ability does Kalita has to obfuscate the investigation by using social media while she's locked up in prison.'

When confronted by the court regarding the statements made in the affidavit, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi submitted that the concerned officer combined both the status report and the affidavit.

Mr Lekhi informed the court that he'll ask the concerned DCP to submit a fresh affidavit specifically dealing with the objections raised in the petition.

'There won't be any need of that, unless you're planning to withdraw this affidavit', the court noted.

Mr Lekhi further informed the court that he will be making his arguments only on the question of law and not on the facts stated in the affidavit.

While asking the ASG to restrict himself to the subject matter of the present petition, the court said:

'We just want to answer the question as to whether there are any checks and balances in place to monitor the information given by the police to the media and whether there is a need to ensure accountability for the same.'

The court will next take up the matter on July 15.

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