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Understanding the 'Toolkit Case'.



INCIDENCE

On 14th February, Disha Ravi, one of the founders of 'Fridays For Future' campaign in India was arrested from her house located in Bengaluru by a Special Cell of the Delhi Police and was remanded to 5-day custody by a Delhi Magistrate. Case was registered over the "toolkit" shared by international activist Greta Thunberg related to the farmers' protest on social media for offences relating to sedition by creating disaffection against India, spreading of communal disharmony, criminal conspiracy etc.


According to the police, Disha Ravi is an Editor of the Toolkit Google Doc & key conspirator in document's formulation & dissemination. They also mentioned that the "toolkit" has a particular section that mentions "digital strike-through hashtags on or before January 26, tweetstorms on January 23 onwards, physical action on January 26 and watch-out or join farmers march into Delhi and back to borders".


GENERAL MEANING OF TOOLKIT

‘Toolkits’ — in modern-day internet parlance — consist of a set of guidelines to ensure the achievement of certain shared goals.


While toolkits are readily used by government departments and private organisations, they have also gained momentum in social protests across the globe. For instance, detailed toolkits were used to effectively organise and manage the Occupy Wall Street protest (2011), pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong (2019), and anti-CAA protests in Delhi.


CHARGES FRAMED

The charges against her reportedly include “sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting hatred amongst various communities on social/cultural/religious grounds) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.” She has also been accused of having Khalistani connections and plotting to “promote disaffection against the Indian state”.


FURTHER ARRESTS

A Day after announcing the arrest of 22-year-old activist Disha Ravi over a toolkit tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on the farmers’ protest, the Delhi Police also issued non-bailable warrants against Mumbai-based advocate Nikita Jacob and her associate Shantanu, saying that they were allegedly responsible for creating the Google document.


ALLEGED VIOLATION OF LAWS

Several Legal Experts alleged that the manner of her arrest was clearly illegal and unconstitutional. They also mention Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India which states that a person arrested shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours whereas in Ravi’s case they produced her before Delhi Magistrate court and not before Bengaluru’s Court. Previous HCs and SC judges mention that “sedition” is not applicable as there is no seditious material found in the toolkit.



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