BREAKING NEWS

Disha Ravi gets bail; Citizens Can't be put behind bars for disagreeing with State Policies: Court

The Delhi Court on Tuesday granted bail to 22-year old climate activist Disha Ravi, who was arrested by the Delhi police from her Bengaluru residence on February 13 in the farmers protest ‘tool-kit’ 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. The order says the evidence on record by the prosecution is not sufficient to keep a 22-year old in custody. The court also noted that Ravi has no criminal antecedents. 
 
The Court granted her bail on condition to furnish personal bond of Rupees one lakh and two sureties of Rupees One Lakh each. Although Ravi’s lawyer-advocate Abhinav Sekhri made a request for reducing the surety amount as Rs 50,000, the Court did not agree. 
 
Some relevant observations from the Court order are given below: 

‘Creation of toolkit not an offence’ 

“In my opinion, creation of a WhatsApp group or being editor of an innocuous Toolkit is not an offence. Further, 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.

Further, it is rightly pointed out by Defence Counsel that the protest march was duly permitted by the Delhi police, therefore, there is nothing wrong in co- accused Shantanu reaching Delhi to attend the protest march. Still further, the attempt to conceal her identity seems to be nothing more than an anxious effort to stay away from unnecessary controversies.”

Nothing on record to suggest Disha Ravi subscribed to any secessionist idea 

“It would be worthwhile to observe that there is nothing on record to suggest that the applicant accused subscribed to any secessionist idea. Further, the prosecution has, except for pointing out that applicant/accused forwarded the toolkit to Ms. Greta Thunberg, failed to point out as to how the applicant/accused gave global audience to the ‘secessionist elements.” 

No Evidence 

“It is further highlighted that the applicant/accused along with her associates under the pretext of protesting against the farm laws have resolved to vandalize Indian Embassies and specifically attack symbols of India i.e. Yoga and Chai.

Except for a bare assertion, no evidence has been brought to my notice to support the contention that any violence took place at any of the Indian Embassies pursuant to the sinister designs of the applicant/accused and her co-conspirators.” 

Propitious Anticipations Cannot Restrict Personal Liberty
"I am conscious of the fact that it is very difficult to collect evidence for the offence of conspiracy but I'm equally conscious of the fact that what is difficult to prove for the prosecution in the affirmative is virtually impossible for the defence to prove in the negative.

I’m 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.”
 

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