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Delhi Riots: Delhi HC Restrains Delhi Police From Making Statements Against Devangana Kalita Till Framing of Charges & Commencement of Trial

Karan Tripathi
27 July 2020 10:05 AM GMT
Delhi Riots: Delhi HC Restrains Delhi Police From Making Statements Against Devangana Kalita Till Framing of Charges & Commencement of Trial
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The Delhi High Court on Monday restrained Delhi Police from issuing any further statement against Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita till the framing of the charges and the commencement of trial against her.

While retraining the Delhi Police for making such statements against Kalita at this stage, the Single Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru highlighted that cases of riots are undoubtedly sensitive in nature.

The order has come in a criminal writ moved by Pinjra Tod member Devangana Kalita seeking mandamus to be issued to the Delhi Police to not leak any allegations pertaining to the petitioner to the media pending investigation, and thereafter during trial.

The Petitioner alleged that the Crime Branch of Delhi Police has been selectively leaking certain information regarding the allegations made against the petitioner and the evidence allegedly collected against her.

She further submitted that the information which is being circulated is selective and also misleading.

While claiming that the Crime Branch has been providing certain information to the media, the petitioner submitted that such information relating to allegations and alleged evidence is being given much publicity and likely to prejudice the trial of the persons accused in the FIRs including the petitioner.

The Petitioner argued that such misleading information is likely to place her and her family members at risk.

Appearing for the Delhi Police, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi had submitted that the Press Note of the DCP, which the Petitioner has cited as derogatory and prejudicial to her right to fair trial, was a response to the allegations made by the Pinjra Tod members on their Twitter account.

Mr Lekhi had submitted that the Pinjra Tod members had accused the Delhi Police of 'massive Hindutva conspiracy' and 'political witch hunt to stifle dissent', which undermined the public faith in police and subsequently threatened social order.

Mr Lekhi had further submitted that since Kalita made no efforts to disassociate herself from the tweets made by Pinjra Tod, the prevailing context warranted a response from the police.

Kalita is currently facing four different FIRs in connection with the anti-CAA protest in Jaffrabad, north-east Delhi riots and violence in Daryaganj during a protest against the new citizenship law last year.

She was arrested along with Natasha Narwal on May 23 by Delhi police.

"Pinjra Tod", founded in 2015 by, started as a movement against curfews in girls hostels and gradually emerged as a collective taking up causes related to women's emancipation. Kalita ,an MPhil student at JNU's Centre for Women's Studies and Narwal, a PhD student at the Centre for Historical Studies, are its founding members. 

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