The counsel appearing for the 24-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia, Asif Iqbal Tanha stated before the Delhi High Court that Zee News & OpIndia violated Programme Code by making public the alleged confessional statement of Tanha. The Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru was hearing the plea of the petitioner who is aggrieved by the various news reports appearing in electronic media reporting that the petitioner has confessed to organizing and inciting communal riots that occurred in North-East Delhi.
Importantly, Tanha's counsel also submitted before the Court that apart from examining the question as to the steps taken by the respondents regarding the leak of the documents in question, it is also apparent that a cognizable offense has been committed and therefore, it is also necessary that appropriate criminal proceedings be instituted. It may be noted that in May 2020, the 24-year-old student of Jamia Millia Islamia, Asif Iqbal Tanha was arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with the violence in North East Delhi in February 2020.
The petitioner, in his petition, has specifically prayed that directions be issued to respondent nos. The petitioner has further prayed in the Petition that inquiry be conducted into misconduct of the officials of respondent no. 3 and 6 and other media agencies. The petitioner has also submitted before the Court that he was coerced by the police officials to sign certain papers and make statements while in their effective custody. The petitioner further contended that the alleged disclosure statements, which are the subject matter of reports were not given voluntarily, and thus, are inadmissible as evidence. The Delhi High Court had, on Thursday directed 'Zee News' to file an affidavit clearly disclosing the source from where the alleged confessional statement of the petitioner was received. Further, the Delhi High Court had on Thursday given one more opportunity to Zee News to disclose the source from which the allotted confessional statement of a Delhi riots accused is retrieved.