Indian Express says sorry for “fake news” after Delhi Police calls out
Indian Express has said sorry to its “fake news” on recent Delhi riots after it was called out by Delhi Police for reporting five-fold jump in bails granted ; 20 in report when it's only four.
In its report, “NE Delhi riots: 20 get bail”, Indian Express published in its May 24th edition that 20 persons were granted bail between May 19-23. It further said in four of these cases, the investigating officer was unable to show the active involvement of the bail applicant in the incident. Quoting the judge order, Indian Express wrote that the IO (Investigating Officer) was unable to show any electronic evidence or eyewitness in case related to two accused.
The Delhi Police, in its rejoinder, stated that the reporter of Indian Express “has weaved a story by selecting few facts, that too in bits and pieces, which may appear comfortable to him and he has tried to build an impression that the accused persons….have been released on bail due to shoddy investigation, which is completely misleading and mischievous…
“…It must be emphasized that electronic evidences may not be available in all cases but that does not mean that the oral and other circumstantial evidences are absent…Moreover, when the case is at the stage of investigation, no comments can be inferred on the merits of the case and it is only at the stage of trial that the evidence can be appreciated wholly.”
Delhi Police also pointed out that often bail is granted to avoid overcrowding the jails, as per order of Supreme Court and “further the guidelines issued by the High-Powered Committee…”
While saying sorry, Indian Express has admitted: “The report incorrectly stated that 20 people had been granted bail after the court noted that police were unable to show their active involvement.” The specific observation was made in four of the 20 bail orders.
Indian Express has been in the crosshairs of Delhi Police in recent times. One of its reporters was summoned for publishing another fake news where it stated that the audio of Maulana Saad, head of Tablighi Jamaat, could have been doctored. A Delhi Police tweet had then said the report “is not only factually incorrect but seems to be based on wholly unverified sources and purely conjectural imagination.”
NorthEast Delhi suffered from unfortunate riots in the last week of February, resulting in 53 dead and hundreds injured. Delhi Police has so far arrested 1300 people in connection with the riots.
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