By Sushil Batra
New Delhi [India], February 23 (ANI): The Session Court on Tuesday while granting bail to Disha Ravi, a climate activist and accused in farmers protest toolkit case, observed that "creation of a WhatsApp group or being editor of an innocuous toolkit is not an offence".
Disha was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on February 13 from Bengaluru in connection with the 'toolkit' case as part of the police probe into January 26 violence in the national capital during the tractor march called by farmers protesting against three new farm laws.
She was produced today before Patiala House Court at the end of her one-day police custody.
"Since the link with the said toolkit or Peotic Justice Foundation (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," said Additional Session Judge.
"....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 coconspirators...." the court said in its order.
It also said considering the "scanty and sketchy investigation", it does not find any palpable reason to breach the rule of bail for a 22-year-old girl who has absolutely no "criminal antecedents".
Additional Session Judge Dharmender Rana has granted bail to Disha on furnishing a bail bond of Rs 100,000 with two sureties in like amount. The court in its bail order also directed that Disha shall continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigations and shall join the investigation as and when summoned by the investigating officer (IO).
"She shall not leave the country without the permission of the court and she shall scrupulously appear at each and every stage of the proceedings before the concerned court so as not to cause any obstruction or delay to its progress," the order stated.
Advocate Abhinav Sekhri, the lawyer for Disha, prayed to the court for the reduction of the bail amount and sureties, but the court refused to modify the order.
Earlier, Public Prosecutor Advocate Vikas representing Delhi Police had informed the court that, there are two other accused persons in this case -- Nikita and Shantanu -- who have joined the investigation. Recently, both of them have been granted protection from arrest by the Bombay High Court. She was one of the editors of the 'Toolkit' document.
Advocate Sidharth Aggarwal, who appeared for Disha, had opposed the Delhi Police remand application.
"Public prosecutor is arguing as if he is seeking police custody for the first time. They earlier asked for seven days but got 5 days. They did not inform the court about that. They did not inform the court that I have moved a bail application which was heard for 3 hours by the Sessions Court," Aggarwal had said.
"Shantanu and Nikita are not in custody then why is my client's custody being sought. She can be confronted with them even when she is in judicial custody," he had added.
On February 3, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg had shared this "toolkit" in a tweet, which she later deleted. Greta had also extended support to the protest by farmers' unions on the borders of Delhi against the new farm laws. (ANI)