Court pulls up Delhi Police over media leak on terrorists

December 15th, 2008 - 11:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday pulled up Delhi Police over leaking to the media the confessional statements of three alleged terrorists involved in the Delhi serial blasts. The police denied allegations that it had allowed a journalist of a news magazine to interview the suspected terrorists and contended that the scribe might have talked to them when they were being taken to the police station after being arrested at Jamia Nagar.

“It’s an elaborate interview and prima facie it was difficult to believe that the journalist conducted the interview while they were being arrested by the police and taken to the police station in interrogate them,” a bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Praksh Shah said.

Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium contended that since a large crowd was following the accused, the journalist might have got an opportunity to talk to the alleged terrorists.

“As a large number of people comprising local leaders, RWA members etc. also started questioning the detainees, the journalist also managed to talk to them while they were in police custody,” he said.

The court, however, was not satisfied with his contention and said that if this is the case, then it is a serious breach of security.

“In such a sensitive case, you take the accused to a place where everyone can come and go. How can you secure the safety of the accused? It is a serious breach of security,” the bench said.

“You say it was a chaotic environment when they were arrested but the alleged confession is elaborate, which prima facie seems not possible,” the court said.

The court also refused to order a judicial probe into the matter as demanded by the petitioner.

The court was hearing a petition filed by an NGO seeking action against police officials who allegedly leaked the information pertaining to investigations into the case to a magazine.

Five accused were arrested by the city police for their alleged involvement in the Sep 13 serial blasts in the capital, which killed 26 people.

Rehman, Nissar and Shakil were arrested by the police from Jamia Nagar on Sep 20, a day after two alleged militants were gunned down in an encounter. Mohammed Saif and Zeeshan were arrested on the day of the gun battle.

All the accused have been booked under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

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