New Delhi: The Delhi High Court lashed out at the Centre for not responding to its ultimatum in connection with a plea by the climate activist Disha Ravi, who sought the Delhi police should be refrained from leaking probe material related to FIR against her.
"For Union of India is there no last and final opportunity? This is very bad. Then what is the meaning of the court saying the last opportunity, I cannot understand that? What is the sanctity of (the court saying) last and final opportunity," Justice Rekha Palli said to the Centre.
The strong remarks by the court came after it was informed that the Centre has not filed a response to Disha Ravi's plea yet.
According to the plea, Disha has claimed that her alleged WhatsApp chats which are private in nature as well as her admissions and disclosure made during her time in police custody has been leaked in the public domain. Given the nature of how it was handled, she argued that such a disclosure was false, malicious and in violation of her right to privacy and free trial.
She has also argued in the plea that her arrest from Bengaluru on February 13 by a Cyber Cell team of Delhi Police was "wholly unlawfully and without basis".
The court on March 17 had granted a final opportunity to the Centre to file its reply to the petition.
On Tuesday, it was inclined to impose costs on the Centre, but the court did not do so after central government standing counsel Ajay Digpaul said that due to COVID-19, officials were not coming to office and therefore, the response could not be filed.
The court, thereafter, gave the Centre six more weeks to file its reply and listed the matter for hearing in August.
Ms Ravi was arrested by Delhi Police on February 13 for allegedly being involved in sharing on social media a "toolkit" related to the ongoing farmers' protest against the Centre's three new Agri laws, and was granted bail by a trial court in Delhi on February 23.