The Goa-bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted a 10-day transit bail to environmental activist Subham Kar Chaudhari in the ‘toolkit’ case registered by Cyber Crime Cell of Delhi Police in connection with the ongoing farmer protests.
Justice MS Jawalkar granted protection “in the interest of justice without going into the merits of the matter, just to enable the applicant to approach the competent authority for seeking appropriate relief”.
Chaudhari had contended that he is an ardent environmentalist, actively involved in seeking ecologically sustainable solutions and proposing an environment-oriented approach towards policy making.
He claimed to have volunteered for a well-known environmental organization called “Extinction Rebellion” and is presently the South Asia Liaison in charge of the organization.
His primary contention was that it was activists and co-accused Nikita Jacob, Shantanu Muluk and Disha Ravi who allegedly conspired to create the online “toolkit” and he had nothing to do with the making of the same.
“It is contented that he has been falsely implicated and that he has no connection whatsoever in the offences alleged in the said FIR,” Chaudhari stated.
The Public Prosecutor submitted he was bound by the order of the Aurangabad Bench and he has nothing to say in this matter.
The Court noted that Chaudhari made out a case showing apprehension of arrest.
The Court further noted that he had been a resident of Goa since August 2020, had no criminal antecedents and belonged to a respectable family.
“The reasons for apprehension of arrest is justified in the facts and circumstances set out. Admittedly, FIR is lodged at New Delhi and any regular application for anticipatory bail under Section 438 of Cr.P.C. would be considered by the competent Court at Delhi. Therefore, the applicant is entitled for protection by way of granting transit bail to approach to the competent authority for seeking appropriate reliefs,” the Court observed.
Chaudhari can avail bail in the event he is arrested by the Delhi Police upon furnishing PR Bond in the sum of Rs. 50000 with one or more sureties, the Court said.
Earlier, Nikita Jacob was granted transit bail for three weeks by the Principal Bench of Bombay High Court after which she moved Delhi Sessions Court for anticipatory bail.
Muluk on the other hand was granted transit bail for 10 days by the Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court and this protection was continued till March 9 by the Delhi Sessions Court in his anticipatory bail plea.