No Bail for Disha Ravi Yet; Court Pulls Up Cops for ‘Conjectures’

After Saturday’s hearing, Delhi’s Patiala House Court has reserved Ravi’s bail order for 23 February.

Updated
India
2 min read
Arrested climate activist Disha Ravi was produced in Delhi’s Patiala House court on Friday, 19 February.
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During the hearing of climate activist Disha Ravi in connection with the ‘toolkit’ case, the Delhi Police on Saturday, 20 February, said, “This was not just a toolkit; The real plan was to defame India and create unrest.”

Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana of the Patiala House Court heard the arguments of both the prosecution and defence for more than three hours and reserved the matter for Tuesday, 23 February.

Key Points From the Hearing on 20 February:

Appearing for the State, ASG SV Raju said if Ravi is granted bail, she could tamper with evidence. He argued, “Ravi used her own phone number to make the WhatsApp group. She used it to tweet with Greta Thunberg. On 3/2/2021 the conspiracy was unearthed because of Greta's tweet.”

ASG added, "She asked Greta Thunberg to delete the document. If it was so innocuous, why did she ask Greta Thunberg to remove? This shows there was a sinister plan behind this toolkit."

The Delhi Police further said, “Disha Ravi was in touch and preparing and sharing the toolkit with those advocating Khalistan.”

Judge Rana asked, "Is there is any evidence or are we acting on the basis of surmises and conjectures?" To which Raju replied that the document will have to be read along with the hashtags and links it contained, and that it was meant to "instigate people asking them to come on streets thus resulting in public disorder".

The prosecution also argued that Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), a Canada-based organisation, headed by Mo Dhaliwal had close ties with banned organisation Sikhs For Justice (SFJ). ASG concluded that since Ravi was a close accomplice of the PJF, she is also linked to alleged Khalistani activity.

Ravi’s counsel Siddhartha Agarwal then argued, “No evidence to link Disha Ravi with Sikhs For Justice, a banned organisation.”

The defence counsel further said, “Nobody arrested in connection with the Red Fort violence has said that he was inspired by the toolkit. No evidence to show that the toolkit is responsible for violence during the farmers' march.”

Earlier on Friday, she was sent to a three-day judicial custody as her five-day police remand was scheduled to end.

Background

Ravi was arrested from Bengaluru on 13 February in connection with allegedly editing and sharing a 'toolkit' on social media related to the farmers' protest.

The Cyber Cell had lodged an FIR against "pro-Khalistan" creators of the "toolkit" for waging a "social, cultural and economic war against the Government of India".

On 14 February, the Delhi Police took to microblogging website Twitter to elaborate on the case. It wrote, "Disha Ravi, arrested by Delhi Police, is an Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc and key conspirator in document's formulation and dissemination."

She started WhatsApp group and collaborated to make the toolkit document, the police said, adding that she worked closely with them to draft it.

"In this process, they all collaborated with pro Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State. She was the one who shared the Toolkit Doc with Greta Thunberg," the police wrote on Twitter.

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