Delhi HC dismisses PIL seeking media gag on Swati Maliwal assault case

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New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to prevent the media from disclosing the name of AAP Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal in connection with the assault case, as well as the contents of the FIR.

Lawyer, petitioner Sanser Pal Singh, filed the petition calling for action against news and social media platforms for allegedly disclosing Maliwal’s identity.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar was arrested on May 18 in connection with the assault on Maliwal on May 13. He is currently in judicial custody.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet P.S. Arora criticised the petitioner saying that the plea had political motivations.

The court questioned the petitioner’s standing to file the PIL, noting that Maliwal, the victim, had herself been speaking to media channels about the case.

“There is a political hue in this petition. It is very, very apparent. You have done this only for publicity,” the bench remarked.

Following these comments, Singh decided to withdraw the plea.

On May 14, media reports and various social media posts highlighted a phone call to the Police Control Room at number 100 regarding an assault and beating allegedly involving Maliwal, an Aam Aadmi Party Rajya Sabha MP and former chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women.

The petitioner was astonished to learn that the copy of the FIR was being circulated publicly through news channels, newspapers, and social media platforms.

The petition cited the necessity of maintaining the confidentiality of the victims’ identities to protect their dignity and prevent further trauma.

It sought the court’s urgent intervention to ensure that such sensitive information is not disclosed, thereby upholding the privacy and safety of victims involved in rape, molestation, and POCSO cases.

–IANS

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