Delhi court dismisses police’s appeal against returning The Wire’s electronic devices

The devices had been seized during raids against The Wire last year.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
Siddharth Varadarajan with the logo of The Wire.
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A Delhi court this week dismissed the Delhi police’s appeal against another court order to return electronic devices seized from The Wire last year.

As reported by Livelaw, additional sessions judge Pawan Singh Rajawat said on October 18 that the “continuous seizure of electronic devices” would “cause undue hardship” to the editors whose devices were seized.

Additionally, it  “impinges upon their fundamental right of freedom of profession” but also their freedom of speech and expression since “the respondents are working for news portal The Wire which is engaged in disseminating news and information and the electronic devices were being used for their work”.

The Delhi police had conducted raids on the news portal in October last year, seizing around 18 electronic devices. Searches took place at The Wire’s office and residences linked to its staff in Delhi and Mumbai. 

This was two days after an FIR was filed against The Wire and its editors based on a complaint from BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya. Malviya’s complaint was over The Wire’s controversial Meta series, which the news website later retracted

Last month, chief metropolitan magistrate Siddharth Malik ordered the release of the electronic devices, saying there were no reasonable grounds for the police to hold onto them. The Delhi police then moved a petition against this order.

Newslaundry had reported in detail on The Wire’s Meta series and the subsequent searches. Read our reports here and here.

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