The Delhi High Court on Tuesday, 18 May, reprimanded the central government for its failure to file its response in the case lodged by 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi.
The reprove comes after the court had given the Centre “one last opportunity” to file a counter affidavit in March.
According to a The Indian Express report, Justice Rekha Palli, questioning the legal representative of the Union government, asked, “What is the meaning of the last opportunity. Should I impose costs on you? What is the sanctity of last and final opportunity?”
The climate activist had been arrested in an investigation by the Delhi Police on 13 February this year for her alleged involvement in the sharing of a document about the farmers' protest on social media. She was granted bail by a trial court on 19 February.
The document, a ‘toolkit’ first shared on Twitter by Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg, was related to the farmers’ protest against the new controversial farm laws.
Ravi has alleged a violation of her right to fair trial and right to privacy in her case against the Centre. Ravi had also alleged a media trial against her in the same case.
Her plea before the high court sought direction from the court to prevent the Delhi Police from releasing her private communication to the media. She had also requested that the Centre be directed to take adequate action against the news channels that had published the contents of her private conversations.
Advocate Ajay Digpaul, who represented the Centre in the court, requested a further extension of time for filing the counter-affidavit. The recent rise in the number of COVID-19 cases was specified as the reason for the delay.
The bench has extended the deadline for filing the response by another four weeks.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and Live Law.)