On February 19, 2020, Delhi High Court heard the plea of 21-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi, who has been arrested by the cybercrime unit of Delhi police on February 13 over the allegation of editing and sharing a toolkit related to the farmers' protest on social media. Akhil Sibal, son of Congress leader Kapil Sibal and a prominent lawyer, appeared for Disha in the court.
Since then, netizens are speculating that Disha hired Akhil Sibal for fighting his case by paying 5 to 7 lakh rupees per appearance.
Abhijit-Iyer Mitra, a columnist, has also shared a post with the same accusation. He tweeted, "Disha Ravi hires Akhil Sibal - that's between 5 to 7 lakhs per appearance. Do the maths."
The claim is rife on Twitter.
The content is also viral on Facebook. Many Facebook users are sharing a screenshot of Abhijit-Iyer Mitra's tweet.
A website, The Frustrated Indians, also claimed that Disha Ravi must be paying Rs 5-7 Lakh per appearance to Akhil Sibal. The article also speculated that Akhil is being paid for Disha's case by 'Khalistani organisations like Poetic Justice Foundation and Sikhs for Justice, or some other vested interest groups who seek to defame India globally and destabilise the Modi government'.
Akhil Sibal is being paid Rs 5-7 lakhs per appearance for fighting Disha Ravi's case in Delhi High Court.
Lawyers who are fighting Disha Ravi's are Advocate Abhinav Sekhri, Vrinda Bhandari, Sanjana Srikumar, Siddharth Aggarwal, Krishnesh Bapat and Akhil Sibal.
Alt News contacted Akhil Sibal, who confirmed that he was fighting Disha Ravi's case pro bono (for free). He said, "I was approached by her lawyer Vrinda Bhandari and have appeared twice for her regarding the media trial petition. I took on the case because this was an important issue to agitate before the court. We know the menace of media trials. Private messages should not be leaked during an ongoing case. It sets a dangerous precedent for due process and affects the privacy of the individual. The law has to take its course. The presumption of innocence recognised by law should not be affected."
BoomLive spoke 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."
Hence, the viral claim is fake.
Many similar claims about Disha Ravi is widely being shared on social media to tarnish her image. The Logical Indian has earlier debunked two fake claims on Disha Ravi, which can be read here and here.
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Also Read: Fact Check: Fake Twitter Accounts Of Disha Ravi's Surface After Her Arrest On 'Toolkit FIR' Case