Disha Ravi: Concerned Citizens in Bangalore files Memorandum Demanding Action against Delhi Police

The activist has been picked up from her home in Soladevanahalli, North Bengaluru in relation to the ‘Greta Thunberg “Toolkit” Conspiracy Case’.

More than seventy concerned Bangalore residents submitted a Memorandum to Bengaluru Police Commissioner demanding action against Delhi Police. Action against those Bengaluru police personnel who neglected their duty, Seeking Copies of any correspondence between Bangalore and Delhi police on this case and Inquiry into the illegal detainment and arrest of Disha Ravi, a 21-year old Climate Activist, arrested from her home in Bengaluru in ‘Toolkit’ Case

The activist has been picked up from her home in Soladevanahalli, North Bengaluru in relation to the ‘Greta Thunberg “Toolkit” Conspiracy Case’. The Gauri Lankesh News has reported that the Delhi police have accused Disha of contributing written material for the toolkit. She was taken to New Delhi by a 6 pm flight on Saturday.

The memorandum submitted to the Office of the Commissioner of Police on February 15, 2021, was titled,” Memorandum raising concerns of breach of Constitutional Provisions and Criminal Law procedures during the arrest of Ms Disha Ravi.”

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The memorandum called the arbitrary arrest of Disha a complete violation of procedures established both in constitutional and criminal law.” The entire incident was a clear and blatant violation of Article 19,21 and 22 of the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India guarantees to every citizen the right to liberty which cannot be curtailed unless according to the procedure established by law and for legally sound reasons. It also affords to every citizen the fundamental right to basic legal protections while being arrested or detained,” the memorandum stated. “As we will establish in the instant memorandum, all constitutional protections enjoyed by the arrested were brazenly denied to her and she was taken to Delhi in a wholly unlawful manner.”

The memorandum cited a Delhi High Court case of Sandeep Kumar v State (NCT) of Delhi (2020) which reiterated these protections while laying down guidelines that are required to be followed in cases of inter-state arrest. The Hon’ble Court noted that due process must be followed while executing inter-state arrests and took a serious view of arrests that are made by other State Police officials without informing the local Police officials. It added, “Such practice is obviously contrary to the police manuals and if such actions go unchecked, it will amount to condoning lawlessness by the police force. In a country governed by the rule of law, this is simply unacceptable.”

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“In order for an inter-state arrest to be initiated, the police from the State that intends on making the arrest must contact and coordinate with the concerned police from the State where the arrest is being made. It has been more than 24 hours since the arrest – however, no statement has been issued by the Bengaluru Police regarding this coordination process between them and the Delhi police or their role in the arrest. It is pertinent to note that Ms Ravi’s family, her legal counsel and the public at large have been kept in the dark about the details and documents relating to the arrest. Further, the only exception to rule above is if the Delhi police were unable to inform the Bengaluru police in advance regarding the arrest, on the grounds of “urgency or other considerations in the interest of investigation”, the memorandum said. ” If this was the case, then the Delhi Police is required to provide the reasoning of the ‘urgent’ grounds”.

The memorandum concluded by stating that it was utterly distressing to note Ms Ravi’s arrest has been carried out without any regard for her rights under the Constitution of India. “Police officials are entrusted with the implementation of the law and are hence, the foot soldiers of our criminal justice system. It is, therefore, deeply worrying that these very authorities have begun to act with complete contempt for legal procedures and constitutional safeguards. We must identify that this is a threat to our criminal justice system and act appropriately to make amends.”

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