A court in Delhi on Tuesday granted bail to 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi in connection with the farm protest document case, Bar and Bench reported. Ravi was granted bail on two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each.
In its order, the court said that the evidence against her was scanty and sketchy, reported Bar and Bench. It added that there were no palpable reasons to breach the rule of bail for a 22-year-old girl who has absolutely no criminal antecedents.
The climate activist was arrested by the Delhi Police earlier this month for allegedly sharing and editing a document intended to amplify the protests against the new farm laws. The “toolkit” – a common term used by social activists for campaign material – was also tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.
During the hearing on Tuesday, advocate Abhinav Sekhri, appearing for Ravi, requested the court to consider making the amount Rs 50,000, reported Live Law. However, the court refused this, and affirmed, “Two sureties of Rs 1 lakh each.”
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana had reserved the order on Ravi’s bail application last week. The judge had asked the Delhi Police several questions and said that he won’t move ahead until he “satisfies his conscience”. The judge asked the police what exactly a “toolkit” was and if the document in itself was incriminating. He had also asked the police if they had evidence to directly link Ravi with the January 26 violence in Delhi.
On Monday, Ravi was sent to one more day of police custody after her three-day judicial custody ended. While seeking Ravi’s custody, the Delhi Police had on Monday argued that it was necessary to make her confront Jacob and Muluk. The police alleged that during interrogation, Ravi had blamed them.
Ravi was produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pankaj Sharma at Patiala House by the Delhi Police at the end of her police custody on Tuesday. Sharma noted that the Delhi Police’s plea seeking four more days of police custody of Ravi will be disposed after confirmation of her bail.
Earlier in the day, Ravi was also interrogated at the Delhi Police Cyber Cell, reported PTI. Two other co-accused in the case, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk, joined the investigation on Monday. They were questioned at the Delhi Police Cyber Cell office in Dwarka.
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The farm protest document
On February 15, the police had claimed that Ravi, Jacob and Muluk attended a Zoom call with what they claimed was a “pro-Khalistani” organisation in Canada, the Poetic Justice Foundation, to chalk out the modalities related to the farmers’ protests against the new agricultural laws. The organisation is an advocacy group that often raises questions connected with human rights. However, the police claim it is promoting Khalistanism or Sikh separatism, a charge that the group denies.
The Delhi Police had also issued non-bailable arrest warrants against Muluk and Jacob in the case. They were both granted transit anticipatory bail.
The first information report filed by the Delhi Police against creators of the campaign document claimed that it gave “a call for economic warfare against India and certain Indian companies”. It was filed on charges of sedition, promoting enmity, and criminal conspiracy. According to the FIR, Poetic Justice Foundation “openly and deliberately shares posts on social media that tend to create disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities”.
The FIR also linked the document to the violence that erupted in Delhi during the farmers’ tractor rally on January 26. It added that the farmers march turned violent because of “said instigation by elements behind this document and its toolkit”.