Land mark judgement,“Citizens are conscience keepers of the government in any democratic nation. They cannot be put behind the bars simply because they choose to disagree with State policies. The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments,” said Justice Dharmender Rana. “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,” the judge added.
Delhi Sessions Court today granted bail to 22-year-old climate change activist Disha Ravi in connection with the farmers protests toolkit FIR.
Delhi’s Patiala House Court on Tuesday granted bail to 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi, noting that the Delhi police had not produced any evidence to suggest that she subscribed to any ‘secessionist’ idea.
Pronouncing the order, Judge Dharmender Rana observed that the crime of sedition is not made out by sharing a toolkit and that just being an editor of an ‘innocuous’ toolkit is not an offence.
Disha Ravi, the 22-year-old walks out of Tihar jail arrested Feb 13 charged with sedition,toolkit issue.
Citizens cannot be put behind bars for disagreeing with State Policies.
Significantly, the Court held that creation of a WhatsApp group or being editor of an innocuous Toolkit is not an offence.
Considering scanty and sketchy evidence on record, I do not find any palpable reason to breach rule of bail for a 22-year-old girl who has absolutely no criminal antecedent,” the judge said.
The order was passed by Judge Dharmender Rana in relation to an FIR registered for offences under Section 124A (sedition) and 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language) of Indian Penal Code.
Mere engagement with persons of dubious credentials not indictable.
One of the main arguments advanced by the government was that a proKhalistani secessionist group namely ‘Poetic Justice Foundation’ (PJF) and people associated with it were behind the creation of the ‘Toolkit’ document.
It was the prosecution’s case that two of Ravi’s associates, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk, attended a Zoom meeting in which two pro-Khalistani activists of PJF also participated apart along with 60 to 70 other persons from across the world.