Hours after Disha Ravi, the 22-year-old climate activist who was arrested February 13 in connection with the “toolkit” case and charged with sedition, was granted bail by a Delhi court, her mother spoke to NDTV, and expressed her joy, relief and trust in the country’s legal system.
“I am relieved.. am very happy. I believe in India’s legal system.. there is value to truth in India,” she said, barely able to hold back her tears.
“I don’t know how to say thanks to all the people who supported her and came out for her,” she added.
She said when her daughter returned home to Bengaluru “I just want to hug her and feed her.”
“Every time Disha spoke to us it was she who gave us the confidence and strength. My daughter is very strong and bold (and) after all this, I have emerged a stronger mother,” she said.
“My message to other parents – we should stand by our children (and) in such difficult times we should be strong for them,” Ms Ravi’s mother said.
Earlier today Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana granted Ms Ravi bail and, as he did so, made several strong observations on the right to dissent and freedom of speech and expression.
“Even our founding fathers accorded due respect to 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 said.
“There is not even an iota of evidence brought to my notice connecting the perpetrators of the violence on 26.01.2021 with the said PJF (Poetic Justice Foundation) or the applicant/accused,” he added.
“Considering scanty and sketchy evidence on record, I do not find any palpable reason to breach rule of bail for a 22-year-old girl who has absolutely no criminal antecedent,” the judge said, adding , “… sedition cannot be invoked to minister to wounded vanity of the government”.
Ms Ravi is accused by Delhi Police 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”.
Ms Ravi, who earlier this month told the court she had only edited two lines of the document and not created it, has said she only “wanted to support the farmers” in their campaign to get the controversial laws – which they say endangers their livelihoods – scrapped.
Under the terms of the bail, Ms Ravi must continue to co-operate (and not obstruct) with the investigation and not leave the country unless allowed by the court.