HC upset with police over leak of chargesheet in Delhi riots case

The Delhi High Court on Friday expressed displeasure at the Delhi Police for leak of supplementary chargesheet filed in a case related to north-east Delhi riots to the media even before cognisance was taken by the court concerned.

Justice Mukta Gupta asked the Delhi Police Commissioner to give an affidavit fixing responsibility on the person instrumental in leaking the information to the media.

‘Proved allegation’

“It is a proved allegation once it comes in media. It no more remains an allegation now. You have to ascertain who has done it,” the High Court said.

The Delhi Police’s counsel, however, said that the contents of the supplementary chargesheet were not leaked to media by the police.

The High Court said the document was a property in the hands of the police and “if your officer has leaked it, it’s abuse of power. If for sanction, this was entrusted to someone else, it’s criminal breach of trust. If the media has taken it away then it’s a theft. So in any case, an offence is made out.”

The court made the remark while hearing a plea by Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, arrested in connection with the north-east Delhi riots, accusing Delhi Police of leaking his confessional statement to the media.

Advocate Siddharth Aggarwal, representing Mr. Tanha, contended that portion of the supplementary chargesheet was with the media a day after it was filed before a trial court here.

The High Court has posted the case for further hearing on March 25.

On last hearing, the High Court had expressed dissatisfaction over Delhi Police’s vigilance inquiry report on the allegation of leaking the confessional statement of Mr. Tanha to media.

Justice Gupta had said, “This vigilance inquiry is even worse than what they do in an ordinary inquiry in a petty theft case.”

Mr. Tanha was arrested in May last year for allegedly being part of a “premeditated conspiracy” in the riots.

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