By Muslim Mirror Staff
A Delhi court has directed the police to release electronic devices seized from the editors of the news portal The Wire in October. The decision came after a prolonged legal battle and has been welcomed as a victory for press freedom and journalistic integrity.
The electronic devices in question were confiscated during a search conducted at The Wire’s office and the residences of four of its editors: Siddharth Varadarajan, MK Venu, Siddharth Bhatia, and Janhvi Sen. Additionally, the house of Mithan Kidambi, the organization’s product head, was also searched by the police.
The seizures were carried out as part of an investigation into a First Information Report (FIR) filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Malviya. Malviya had accused the editors of The Wire of various charges, including fraud, forgery, defamation, and criminal conspiracy. Notably, Malviya has gained notoriety for sharing misinformation and promoting hatred against minority groups on social media platforms.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Siddhartha Malik of the Tis Hazari Court, who presided over the case, said that the electronic devices had been in the possession of the police for an extended period. The court concluded that there was no valid justification to retain these devices any longer.
“From the record it is clear that the devices seized during investigation have been in custody of the IO for a very long time. The devices have already been examined by the FSL and their mirror images is available with FSL for the purpose of any subsequent investigation,” the Court said.
Delhi Police initiated an FIR against The Wire and its editorial team in response to a complaint lodged by Amit Malviya, the Chief of the BJP IT cell. Malviya’s complaint stemmed from The Wire’s articles alleging that he possessed unique privileges on Meta platforms, enabling him to have any content removed if he deemed it detrimental to the BJP’s interests. Subsequently, The Wire retracted these stories. In a countermove, the news organization also filed a complaint against its former consultant, Devesh Kumar.
The Wire claimed that Kumar “fabricated and supplied documents, e-mails and other material such as videos with a view to damage its reputation. He has done so either on his own or at the behest of other unknown persons”.