Disha Ravi, the 22-year-old climate activist who was arrested in connection with the "Toolkit" case earlier this month, was granted bail on Tuesday, February 23.
"The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments," the Delhi court said while granting her bail.
The court noted that the resistance to the bail plea seems to be ornamental in nature and referred to the evidence as scanty and sketchy, reported BarAndBench.
"I do not find any palpable reasons to breach the general rule of 'Bail' against a 22-year-old young lady, with absolutely blemish-free criminal antecedents and having firm roots in the society, and send her to jail," Additional Sessions Judge Dharmender Rana said.
The court made several strong remarks backing the right to dissent in the country and said that "citizens are conscience keepers of the government in any democratic nation who cannot be put behind bars simply because they choose to disagree with the state policies."
"In the absence of any evidence to the effect that the accused agreed or shared a common purpose to cause violence on 26.01.2021 with the founders of PJF (Poetic Justice Foundation), it cannot be presumed by resorting to surmises or conjectures that she also supported the secessionist tendencies or the violence caused on 26.01.2021, simply because she shared a platform with people, who have gathered to oppose the legislation," the court ruled.
Focusing on Article 19, the court stated, "Even our founding fathers accorded due respect to the divergence of opinion by recognising the freedom of speech and expression as an inviolable fundamental right. The right to dissent is firmly enshrined under Article 19 of The Constitution of India."
Judge Rana also turned down arguments put forward by Delhi Police that Disha and two others - activist Shantanu Muluk and lawyer Nikita Jacob - had conspired with a pro-Khalistani outfit to create and spread the 'toolkit'.
The police had claimed that Disha and PJF co-founder Mo Dhaliwal had several Zoom meetings, days before the tractor rally violence, and alleged that this pointed to a "conspiracy" that included the creation and spreading of the 'toolkit'.
Disha, however, had said that only edited two lines of the document and did not create it. The activist said that she only "wanted to support the farmers" in their campaign to get the three contentious farm laws scrapped.