Social media posts claiming that activist Disha Ravi has hired advocate Akhil Sibal, son of Congress leader and Supreme Court advocate Kapil Sibal, to represent her for an enormous sum of Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh per appearance are false.
BOOM reached out to Akhil Sibal who clarified that he is doing the "case pro bono and has not charged any amount for the same."
Pro-bono is a Latin phrase often used in law terminology; it means, 'for public good.'
Advocate Akhil Sibal represented Disha Ravi in her Delhi High Court plea seeking to restrain the media from sensationalizing her arrest. Several media channels had leaked Ravi's private chats . The Delhi High court on February 18 issued notices to News18, India Today, Times Now, National Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Delhi Police to restrain the media from publishing content or extract of any private chats, including those on WhatsApp, which would violate her right to fair trial.
Disha Ravi, environmental activist, was arrested by Delhi Police from her house in Bengaluru on February 13 for editing a 'toolkit' in support of the farmers' protest. The police alleged that the perpetrators of January 26, 2021 violence at Red Fort 'may' have read the 'toolkit' that was inadvertently made 'public by international environmental activist Greta Thunberg.'
Columnist Abhijit Iyer-Mitra tweeted, "Disha Ravi hires Akhil Sibal - that's between 5 to 7 lakhs per appearance. Do the maths." His tweet has garnered over 5,900 retweets and 22,800 likes at the time of writing this article.
The Frustrated Indian website, which describes itself as, "created to provide an alternate Center-Right narrative" published an article in its opinion section based on the same claim. However, the website, at the bottom of the article, states 'Akhil Sibal must come on record and state whether he is fighting her case pro bono.'
I have not charged any fees: Akhil Sibal
Sibal further clarified, "I took on the case because I believe it raises important issues about the fundamental rights of a citizen pending a police investigation, including her dignity, right to privacy, right to reputation, and right to a fair trial, as well as the issue of police leaks and a media trial."
Additionally, we reached out to Sanjana Srikumar, one of the lawyers representing Disha Ravi, who said, "We are also doing it pro-bono. There is no money exchange that has happened."
We also spoke to advocate Vrinda Bhandari, who clarified the same.
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