Toolkit case: Key highlights from Disha Ravi's bail plea hearing

Considering the scanty and sketchy evidence on record, I do not find any palpable reason to deny bail, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said.

February 23, 2021 / 06:43 PM IST
Disha Ravi.

Disha Ravi.

A Delhi High court granted bail to the 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi. She was arrested by the Delhi police from her Bengaluru residence on February 13 in the farmers protest 'toolkit' case.

"Considering the scanty and sketchy evidence on record, I do not find any palpable reason to deny bail", Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana of Patiala House Court Complex noted in the order granting bail, LiveLaw reported.  

Here are some key takeaways from the decision

The creation of a toolkit is not an offence

In the order, Judge Rana said that the creation of a WhatsApp group or being editor of an innocuous Toolkit is not an offence. The judge also added that the activists' attempt to conceal her identity is nothing more than an "anxious effort to stay away from unnecessary controversies."

There was nothing on the record to suggest Ravi held secessionist ideas

"It would be worthwhile to observe that there is nothing on record to suggest that the applicant accused subscribed to any secessionist idea," Judge Rana said, adding that apart from pointing out that the toolkit had been forwarded to Greta Thunberg, it failed to point out as to how Ravi gave global audience to the 'secessionist elements'.

Cannot be put behind bars for simply disagreeing with State policies

Citizens are conscience keepers of government in any democratic Nation, says Judge Rana. Adding that citizens cannot simply be put behind bars if they choose to disagree with state policy.

Right to seek global audience
Judge Rana notes that 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 a global audience. "In my considered opinion, freedom of speech and expression includes a right to seek a global audience,"  

Engaging with people of dubious credentials cannot be an offence
"It is not mere engagement with persons of dubious credentials which is indictable rather it is the purpose of engagement which is relevant for the purpose of deciding culpability," Judge Rana notes. The Judge also says that as long as the engagement remains within the four corners of law, interacting with such persons, ignorantly, innocently or for that matter even fully conscious of their dubious credentials, cannot be painted with the hue. 
Moneycontrol News
first published: Feb 23, 2021 06:41 pm

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