New Delhi: A Delhi court on Saturday reserved its order on the regular bail application filed by 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi.
Ravi, who was arrested on February 13 from her Bengaluru residence by the Delhi Police, is facing charges of conspiracy and sedition among others in the ‘toolkit’ case.
Additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana of the Patiala house courts put up the bail application for orders on February 23 after a 3-hour hearing.
Opposing activist Disha Ravi’s bail plea, additional solicitor general (ASG) S.V. Raju, appearing for the Delhi Police, alleged that she was preparing the toolkit with those advocating for a Khalistan state and was part of a “global conspiracy” to defame India and create unrest in the country “in the garb of farmers’ protest”.
“This was not just a toolkit. The real plan was to defame India and create unrest here,” ASG Raju said.
The police alleged that Ravi deleted WhatsApp chats, emails and other evidence and was aware of legal actions she could face.
“Why did Disha Ravi cover her track and delete evidence if she did not commit wrong, the police said, alleging that his shows her guilty mind and sinister design,” the ASG submitted.
According to LiveLaw, ASG Raju also submitted that Ravi was in contact with “pro-Khalistani organisations” such as Sikhs For Justice and Poetic Justice Foundation.
The judge asked the police if there was any evidence linking the ‘toolkit’ to the violence reported on Republic Day during the farmers’ tractor rally.
“What exactly is the evidence collected by you against this lady connecting her to the violence perpetuated on January 26? Is there any evidence, or are we required to merely work on surmises, conjectures?” the judge asked, according to LiveLaw.
Judge Rana also asked if an “imputation can be made against a person merely on the basis of her association with another person or organisation”.
The ASG responded that conspiracy cannot be “seen or touched” but is the “meeting of the minds”.
“The conspiracy is not that I knew a particular person and told them to commit violence, but that I created a document which I knew and intended to incite violence. The conspiracy is in the meeting of the minds,” the ASG said.
To this, the judge responded, “Should I presume there is no direct link now?” The ASG replied that the police are still investigating possible direct links.
Ravi’s advocate Siddharth Agarwal submitted that his client’s “history, geography, past, present or future, have nothing to do with Khalistan”.
“They have not indicated a single conversation between Sikhs For Justice and her,” Agarwal said, according to LiveLaw, adding that the police have not even stated that Sikhs For Justice is connected to Poetic Justice Foundation.
“FIR states that I have attacked chai and yoga. Is this the parameter for sedition?” Agarwal argued, saying that his client was merely organising a peaceful protest.
If telling people have there is something that has happened or could happen is sedition, we should shut down all internet everywhere. Zamana tha Doorshan wala! : Agarwal#DishaRavi
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) February 20, 2021
“If the offence is that I protested peacefully, I’m guilty, if the offence is that I advertised about this peaceful protest, I’m guilty. If this is the parameter, I’m definitely guilty.
Agarwal also denied that the toolkit creates “disaffection against India”.
“If I sent or encouraged people to take part in this march, I become seditious? They were asked to make representations to government offices, is this sedition?” Agarwal asked, according to LiveLaw.
The advocate also slammed the Delhi police’s submission that the climate activist’s custody was required to “ascertain if she had more mobile phones or laptops”. He asked why Ravi was not taken to Bengaluru during her five-days police custody and no raids were conducted during this time.
Agarwal: For instance, if there is yoga. And I prefer kung fu over yoga. Will I become a chinese spy? I’m not saying this. It’s in their FIR. We’re reducing the bar of someone having a different point of view. #DishaRavi#Toolkit
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) February 20, 2021
A trial court had on Friday sent Ravi to judicial custody for three days after her five-day police custody expired.
The Delhi high court had on Friday heard Ravi’s plea to restrain police from leaking to the media any probe material concerning the FIR lodged against her.
The high court, in its order, asked media houses to ensure that no leaked investigation material is broadcast as it could affect the probe and directed Delhi Police to abide by its stand on affidavit that it has not leaked nor intends to leak any probe details to the press.