Ravi, 22, was arrested from Bengaluru by the Delhi Police Cyber Cell for allegedly sharing and creating the toolkit about farmers protest. The police also said that she collaborated with pro-Khalistani outfit Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF).
The toolkit was later shared by Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg and several others on Twitter, with the issue spiralling into a major controversy.
Here’s what Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said while granting bail to Disha:
* Considering the scanty and sketchy evidence, I do not find any palpable reason to breach the rule of bail for a 22-year-old girl who have absolutely no criminal antecedent.
* There is absolutely no link established on record between Disha Ravi and banned outfit Sikhs for Justice.
* Creation of a WhatsApp group or being editor of an innocuous toolkit is not an offence.
* Nothing on record to suggest that Disha Ravi subscribed to any secessionist idea.
* Investigating agency can’t be permitted to further restrict liberty of citizen on basis of propitious anticipations.
* Citizens are conscience keepers of government. They cannot be jailed simply because they choose to disagree with state policies.
* The perusal of the said ‘toolkit’ reveals that any call for any kind of violence is conspicuously absent.
* The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments.
* The difference of opinion, disagreement, divergence, dissent, or for that matter, even disapprobation, are recognised legitimate tools to infuse objectivity in state policies.
* An aware and assertive citizenry, in contradistinction with an indifferent or docile citizenry, is indisputably a sign of a healthy and vibrant democracy.
* The right to dissent is firmly enshrined under Article 19 of the Constitution. In my considered opinion the freedom of speech and expression includes the right to seek a global audience.
* There are no geographical barriers on communication. A citizen has the fundamental rights to use the best means of imparting and receiving communication, as long as the same is permissible under the four corners of law and as such have access to audience abroad.
* Since the link with the said toolkit or PJF has not been found to be objectionable, mere deletion of the WhatsApp chat to destroy the evidence linking her with the toolkit and PJF, also becomes meaningless.
* The prosecution has, except for pointing out that applicant/accused forwarded the toolkit to climate activist Greta Thunberg, failed to point out as to how the applicant/accused gave global audience to the ‘secessionist elements’.”
* I am also conscious of the fact that the investigation is at a nascent stage and police is in the process of collecting more evidence, however, the investigating agency made a conscious choice to arrest the applicant accused upon the strength of material so far collected and now they cannot be permitted to further restrict the liberty of a citizen on the basis of propitious anticipations.
* Conspiracy cannot be proved merely on the basis of inferences which have to be backed by evidence.
* There is nothing on record to suggest that there was any call, incitement, instigation or exhortation on the part of the applicant/accused and the abovesaid organisations and its associates to foment violence on Janury 26, 2021.
* As long as the engagement/interaction remains within the four corners of law, people interacting with such persons, ignorantly, innocently or for that matter even fully conscious of their dubious credentials, cannot be painted with the same hue.
* In the absence of any evidence to the effect that the applicant/accused agreed or shared a common purpose to cause violence on Janury 26, 2021 with the founders of PJF, it cannot be presumed by resorting to surmises or conjectures that she also supported the secessionist tendencies or the violence caused on Janury 26 simply because she shared a platform with people, who have gathered to oppose the legislation.
(With inputs from PTI)
Watch Toolkit case: Delhi’s Patiala House Court grants bail to Disha Ravi