Disha Ravi, the 22-year-old climate activist arrested February 13 in connection with the “toolkit” case, was granted bail by a Delhi Sessions Court on Tuesday afternoon – subject to the provision of two personal sureties of Rs 1 lakh each.
Shortly after this was announced a second court disposed off an application by the police seeking extended custody of Ms Ravi; the police had sought a further four days of custody.
Ms Ravi, who has spent six days in police custody and two in jail since Delhi Police arrested her from her home in Bengaluru, is accused of creating and spreading an online document linked to the farmers’ protest against the centre’s agriculture laws – a document the police says was meant to revive a Khalistani group and “spread disaffection against the Indian state”.
Bail was granted today after the court reserved its order on Saturday.
In today’s brief hearing Ms Ravi’s legal representative stressed before the court that she had no links with the Khalistani movement, and that a case of sedition could not be sustained.
Delhi Police, opposing grant of bail, said Ms Ravi could tamper evidence if she were to be released.
In last week’s hearing Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana picked holes in the argument that Ms Ravi and two others – activist Shantanu Muluk and lawyer Nikita Jacob – being in league with secessionists and conspiring to cause violence during the farmers’ Republic Day tractor rally
The judge dubbed Delhi Police’s reasoning “conjecture”.
“What is the evidence collected by you to show the link between her and the January 26 violence? You have argued about her role in toolkit and she in touch with the secessionists,” he began.
When the police – represented by Additional Solicitor General SV Raju – argued that “conspiracy can be seen only through circumstantial evidences,” the judge shot back, “So you don’t have any evidence to connect Disha with the January 26 violence?”
To underscore the point, he added, “How do you connect actual violators with Disha?”
Appearing for Ms Ravi, counsel Sidharth Agarwal said his client had no contact with secessionists.