Delhi riots 2020: Justice Amit Sharma of Delhi High Court recuses from hearing plea of Asif Iqbal Tanha

A day after Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani recused from hearing a petition filed by Asif Iqbal Tanha against leak of his alleged confession to the media, another judge of the Delhi High Court, Justice Amit Sharma, today followed in his footsteps and recused himself from the case.

During the hearing today, Justice Sharma asked the Delhi Police whether the charge sheet in the matter pertained to the one investigated by the Special Cell.

After Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad responded in the affirmative, Justice Sharma said that the case, which was related to the larger conspiracy leading to riots in North-East Delhi in 2020, would have to be listed before another Bench.

He then listed the matter for hearing before another Bench on April 24, subject to orders of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma.

Earlier on April 12, Justice Bhambhani had recused from the matter in the ‘larger interests of the overall credibility of the justice system’.

After the News Broadcasters & Digital Association (NBDA) and News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) filed intervention applications, apprehending that a decision in the case may lead to registration of FIR against journalists and may also have an impact on the question of disclosure of sources, Justice Bhambani hinted at recusing himself from the case. 

Before his elevation as a judge of the High Court, Justice Bhambhani practiced in media law and also had represented NBDA.

He had said that after giving anxious consideration to the matter, he had come to the conclusion that no act on part of the court, in any manner, should have a deleterious impact on the credibility of the justice system. 

As per Justice Bhambani, regardless of the view that this court may hold in relation to the intervention applications, it subserved to preserve the credibility of the system, derived not just from fairness, but from the fairness in perception.