Toolkit accused Shantanu Muluk gets safety from arrest till March 9
A Delhi court on Thursday granted interim protection from arrest to Pune engineer Shantanu Muluk, an accused in the toolkit case, till March 9 in continuation of the 10-day transit bail given to him by the Bombay high court on February 16.
Additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana said no coercive action would be taken against Muluk, who along with climate activist Disha Ravi and Mumbai lawyer Nikita Jacob, was booked for sedition for alleged formulation, editing and dissemination of the toolkit document related to the farmers’ protest against the three new farm laws.
The police have alleged that Ravi, Muluk and Jacob allegedly created an online toolkit intending to help a section of protesting farmers. According to the police, the toolkit was a sinister design to defame India and incite unrest.
The police registered a case on February 4 for sedition, promoting hatred among groups and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) after the Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg tweeted the toolkit while expressing her support to the protesters.
On Thursday, public prosecutor Irfan Ahmed, appearing for the police, sought seven days to file their reply on the anticipatory bail plea and assured the court that the Investigating officer (IO) did not intend to take any coercive steps in the meanwhile.
He also told the court that Muluk’s repolies to the police questions were inconsistent and full of contradictions.
Advocate Vrinda Grover, counsel for Muluk, told the court that her client should not be arrested as he has been joining investigation whenever he has been called by the investigating agency.
Noting the submissions of the police, the court said that no “coercive actions” will be taken against the accused and posted the matter for next hearing on March 9.
In his plea filed through advocate Akram Khan and Sarim Naved, Muluk has said that he merely created the toolkit with information on the agitation, which was then edited by others without his knowledge.
The application further said there was “absolutely nothing” in the toolkit that advised doing anything unlawful.