Fact Check: Disha Ravi did not pay Rs. 5 to 7 lakh to lawyer Akhil Sibal as claimed

Several messages on Twitter on Monday Feb. 22, 2021 claimed that arrested environment activist Disha Ravi has hired advocate Akhil Sibal, son of Congress leader and Supreme Court advocate Kapil Sibal, who charges Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh per appearance in the court, questioning her means to provide such high fees.

Ever since Disha Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru on Feb. 13, the narrative in social media has been largely to portray her negatively instead of leaving it to the court to decide the merits of the case. The activist has been alleged to have edited the “Toolkit” related to farmers’ protests in India that was duly linked in her tweets by global environment activist Greta Thunberg.

As is known Akhil Sibal represented Disha Ravi in the Delhi High Court pleading on behalf of his client that media be restrained from leaking Disha Ravi’s private WhatsApp 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 accordingly.

A twitter user by name 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 5,999 retweets and 22,900 likes at the time of writing this article. It was also reported by a website here.

Fact Check

Akhil Sibal has clarified to BOOM Live that he has taken up Dish Ravi’s case “pro bono and has not charged any amount for the same.” Pro-bono, which means ‘for public good’, has been the norm in many cases involving rights activists. Not only Akhil Sibal, there are many other lawyers who are representing the case in Delhi High Court and many of them have denied taking any fee and described it as “pro bono”.

Earlier, in some tweets Disha Ravi’s name has been falsely claimed as Disha Ravi Joseph, which was debunked by fact checkers.

Claim: Disha Ravi hires Akhil Sibal – that’s between 5 to 7 lakhs (rupees) per appearance

Conclusion: Akhil Sibal denied and said it was free of charge or pro bono.

About Arun Nag

Arun is with Digiteye India since the beginning as the main source for re-writing stories and for re-checking the facts and images. He writes on general and political issues. He can be reached at admin@digiteye.in or softmediahub@gmail.com

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