There is not even an iota of evidence linking climate activist Disha Ravi to the Canadian based organisations Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF) and Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) and the actual perpetrators who committed violence at the Red Fort on Republic Day, a Delhi court observed while granting her bail on Tuesday.
"The perusal of the said 'Toolkit' reveals that any call for any kind of violence is conspicuously absent," the court order read. "…creation of a WhatsApp group or being editor of an innocuous Toolkit is not an offence," it further read.
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," the order reasoned.
"Considering the scanty and sketchy evidence available on record, I do not find any palpable reasons to breach the general rule of ' Bail' against a 22 years old young lady, with absolutely blemish-free criminal antecedents and having firm roots in the society, and send her to jail," Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana observed in his order.
Read the top 10 quotes from the judgement.
1) "In my considered opinion, Citizens are conscience keepers of government in any democratic nation. They cannot be put behind the bars simply because they choose to disagree with the State policies."
2) "The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments."
3) "In my considered opinion, 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."
4) "Any person with dubious credentials may interact with a number of persons during the course of his social intercourse. As long as the engagement/interaction remains within the four corners of law, people interacting with such persons, ignorantly, innocently or for that matter even fully conscious of their dubious credentials, cannot be painted with the same hue, he added.
5) "In the absence of any evidence to the effect that the applicant/accused agreed or shared a common purpose to cause violence on 26.01.2021 with the founders of PJF, it cannot be presumed by resorting to surmises or conjectures that she also supported the secessionist tendencies or the violence caused on 26.01.2021, simply because she shared a platform with people, who have gathered to oppose the legislation."
6) "The Hon'ble Mumbai High Court in the matter of Arun G. Gowli v. State of Maharashtra…has observed that conspiracy cannot be proved merely on the basis of inferences. The inferences have to be backed by evidence."
7) "Even our founding fathers accorded due respect to the divergence of opinion by recognising the freedom of speech and expression as an inviolable fundamental right. The right to dissent is firmly enshrined under Article 19 of The Constitution of India."
8) "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."
9) "The imputations (On Genocide.org) may be false, exaggerated or even with a mischievous intent but the same cannot be stigmatized being seditious unless they have tendency to foment violence."
10) "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."
Updated On: 2021-02-23T20:04:02+05:30