A judge of the Karnataka High Court on Monday expressed shock over the emergence of “word by word” details in the media of a final message sent by IAS officer D K Ravi to an IAS friend in the hours before his death, despite the details being presented to the court in a sealed cover and a gag order being imposed on the state government.
Justice S Abdul Nazeer expressed his dismay over the leak of details in the course of the hearing of an interim plea by the Karnataka government for withdrawal of a March 22 gag order issued by the court against publicising the details of the investigations carried out by the Karnataka CID.
“What was presented to the court in a sealed cover has come out in its entirety in the media. Word by word details of what I read in the court have come,” the judge said while asking the assistant advocate general A S Ponnana how the documents became public. The assistant advocate general told the court that much of the Whatsapp messages and details of mobile communications between Ravi and an IAS batchmate that occurred prior to Ravi’s death were already in the public domain.
Based on a right to privacy plea filed by the husband of Ravi’s IAS friend, the Karnataka high court had on March 22 issued a gag order against publicising details of the CID investigations. Still, several local and national media outlets publicised the details of the final communication as well as a voluntary statement given by the IAS friend to the CID, wherein she explained her ties with Ravi.
The state government, in the course of its plea for withdrawal of the gag order, has stated that final messages sent by Ravi to his IAS friend were indicative of his mental state.