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Toolkit row: Delhi cops deny illegality in climate activist Disha Ravi's remand

Advocate Rebecca John questions whether activist Disha Ravi got appropriate legal assistance when she was produced before court.

Published: 16th February 2021 08:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2021 08:26 AM   |  A+A-

AISA members protest demanding the release of activists Nodeep Kaur, Shiv Kumar and Disha Ravi in New Delhi.

AISA members protest demanding the release of activists Nodeep Kaur, Shiv Kumar and Disha Ravi in New Delhi. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Senior advocate Rebecca John has expressed disappointment about how young activist Disha Ravi, arrested in the Greta Thunberg toolkit case, was brought to Delhi from Bengaluru without a transit remand.

John also questioned whether Disha was appropriately represented by a lawyer when she was produced before a Delhi court on Sunday which remanded her to five days police custody. 

Posting the court order online, John said: “So it appears a legal aid counsel was present (to represent Disha) , though clearly he made no submissions, nor were the submissions made by the accused in person, as reported by the media, recorded in this order. The submissions made by the Investigating officer are prominently recorded.” 

​ALSO READ | AAP calls activist Disha Ravi's arrest 'extrajudicial abduction', demands release

The order has been copied from Bar and Bench which has posted the same on its website. The Delhi Police asserted that Disha was arrested on Saturday afternoon from her home in Bengaluru in the presence of her mother and a local police officer and it was all above board.

The arrest memo has her mother’s signature, the police said, and added that she was also in touch with her lawyers. The Delhi High Court in a 2019 order reiterated the need for getting transit remand. 

The order stated: “Endeavor should be made to obtain transit remand after producing the arrestee before the nearest Magistrate... unless exigencies of the situation warrant otherwise.” The Delhi police denied any illegality on its part.

“The transit remand is not required. As per law, in any case,/arrest, you have to produce the accused before the concerned magistrate of cybercrime cases in 24 hours where the case is registered. Now, the case is registered in Delhi and the accused was produced in Delhi within 24 hours.  So, there is no irregularity,” said a senior Delhi Police official.

​ALSO READ | Toolkit row: Disha Ravi asked Greta Thunberg to delete tweet, alleges police

The official insisted that transit remand is police’s requirement and not a requirement of law. “We take or put in a request for transit remand when we are not able to produce the accused within 24 hours. These are taken when the distance is far like Assam, or somewhere far where you take 3-4 days to reach,”  he said.  

Had the law been violated by the Delhi police, the court would have taken action against us, the officer added. 

Criminal advocate Rajiv Mohan, who has represented Delhi police for years in courts of Delhi, said the police has not violated any law by skipping Disha’s transit remand.

Farmers demand release of activist 

The Samyukta Kisan Morcha, which is leading the agitation against new agri laws, on Monday again demanded the release of environmental activist Disha Ravi.

“We are deeply concerned and anguished about the brazen misuse of police power by the government in its efforts to weaken the ongoing farmers’ movement. We condemn the arrest of young environmental  activist without due procedures being followed. SKM demands her immediate unconditional release,” it said in a statement.

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