On 23/2/2021 Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana of Patiala House Court granted bail to Disha Ravi in Toolkit case. She was free after 10 days judicial/police custody.
Interestingly Disha’s Bail Application No. was 420/2021 against FIR No. 49/2021.
Disha was arrested in Bangalore by Delhi Police. Controversy surrounds her arrest and transit. Delhi Police claim a local police officer was present when she was arrested in her house. There were reports that Bangalore Police came to know about her arrest after it had taken place. She was taken to Delhi without transit remand order. She admitted she edited two lines in the Toolkit. Prosecution argued she did more than that.
Delhi Police wanted to arrest Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk as well. They got pre-arrest bail and on 22/2/2021 joined probe by Delhi Police at their cyber cell in Dwarka.
The Toolkit was regarding farmers’ protest that was going on against three farm laws. It called people “to stand up against India’s failing democracy (at the behest of the Fascistic ruling party, RSS-BJP)” and “to stand up against unregulated corporatisation of the farming sector,”. It became famous because Greta Thunberg tweeted it.
Prosecution argued that the Toolkit was the work of pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation and pro-Khalistani activists Mo Dhaliwal and Anita Lal were behind PJF. Disha, Nikita and Shantanu had attended a Zoom meeting in which around 70 persons including Mo Dhaliwal and Anita Lal had participated. The Toolkit caused violence on Republic Day.
Additional Solicitor General Suryaprakash V. Raju who appeared for State admitted that PJF is not a banned organization and there is no criminal case against Mo Dhaliwal and Anita Lal.
The Toolkit did not call for violence and so there was no proof that it caused violence on Republic Day.
Dharmender Rana in his judgment said, “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 od young lady, with absolutely blemish free criminal antecedents and having firm roots in the society, and send her to jail.”
Law will take its course. We do not know how long. There will be appeals. Farmers’ protest is fizzling out. Many farmers have returned to their villages. BJP lost in municipal elections in Punjab and gained in Gujarat. Congress gained in Punjab. AAP won 27 seats in Surat, Gujarat. Political equations will have a bearing on the case.