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'Citizens Are Conscience-Keepers Of Any Democratic Nation': What Delhi Court Said While Granting Bail To Disha Ravi

by GoNews Desk 1 month ago Views 9156

'Citizens Are Conscience-Keepers Of Any Democratic
A Delhi Sessions Court on Tuesday granted bail to 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi in the toolkit case. She was arrested from Bengaluru for allegedly editing a social media document, or toolkit, about the ongoing farmers' protest against three farm laws. Here is what the Court said on dissent and freedom of speech while granting her bail:

• The court granted the bail saying there was “scanty” and “sketchy” evidence to back charges of sedition against Ravi.


• It said that citizens can not be jailed simply because they disagree with government policies.

• Additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana released the 22-year-old activist on a personal bond of ₹1 lakh and two sureties of similar amounts.

• The judge said that Ravi had no connection with pro-Khalistani organisations, Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), and Sikhs for Justice, and that there was not an “iota” of evidence linking her to the violence that jolted Delhi on Republic Day

• He cited the “scanty and sketchy evidence” and added he did not find any palpable reasons to breach the general rule of bail.

• The judge said the 22-year-old was with absolutely blemish-free criminal antecedents and has firm roots in the society.

• The court also said the call for any kind of violence was conspicuously absent from the toolkit, and no evidence was on record to suggest Ravi subscribed to secessionist ideas.

• Activists have repeatedly said the toolkit is an innocuous document used by social media campaigns for strategy and planning.

• The judge said citizens are the conscience-keepers of the government in any democratic nation.

• He added they cannot be put behind bars simply because they choose to disagree with the state policies.

• The judge said the offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the government.

• The court said difference of opinion, disagreement, divergence, dissent, or for that matter, even disapprobation, are recognised legitimate tools to infuse objectivity in state policies.

• The court said the right to dissent is enshrined under Article 19 of the Constitution. It added the freedom of speech and expression includes the right to seek a global audience.

• The court said there are no geographical barriers on communication.

• It added a citizen has the fundamental rights to use the best means of imparting and receiving communication, as long as the same is permissible under the law and as such have access to the audience abroad.

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