Activist Disha Ravi, arrested and detained under the “toolbox case”, was released on bail Tuesday. While Delhi police had requested an additional seven days in custody, Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana ruled that the evidence on file was not sufficient to keep a 22-year-old “young woman” in custody. no criminal history.
“The crime of sedition cannot be invoked to serve the wounded vanity of governments,” he noted. In comments that have since gone viral, the judge also noted that citizens were the government’s “conscience keepers” and argued that the evidence produced by the police was “scarce and fragmentary”. Insisting that the right to dissent was enshrined in article 19 of the Constitution, he granted bail, albeit under several conditions.
The 22-year-old was held in Tihar Prison as police investigated her role in formulating and disseminating the controversial toolkit. The document that was first shared by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg as she spoke out in support of the ongoing farmers’ protest in India, has now become the subject of an official investigation.
The Delhi Police Cyber Cell had filed an FIR against the “pro-Khalistan” creators of the “toolbox” for waging a “social, cultural and economic war against the Indian government”. Disha, they said, had been involved in the efforts.
However, the Court does not agree with this interpretation of the situation, noting that nothing in the file allows to establish a direct link between Disha and the pro-Khalistan activists of the “Poetic Justice Foundation”. There was also no evidence linking her to those who engaged in violence on January 26, he noted.
Needless to say, many welcomed the decision. And while some applaud Disha’s regained freedom, others applaud justice for their actions. Several opposition leaders took to social media to note that the lower court system was showing higher courts the “way.”
Congressman and Congressman for Rajya Sabha, Abhishek Singhvi, also marveled that Judge Dharmender Rana was being applauded for “simply upholding the law on state excesses”.
“Judge Dharmendra Rana’s orders in the Hon’ble Patiala House Court in recent days have earned him celebrity status. Celebrity status for simply supporting the state excesses law. Tells a whole story.” , he tweeted.