The Judge also said that apart from forwarding the toolkit to Greta Thunberg, the prosecution failed to point out how Disha gave global audience to “secessionist elements”.
‘‘In my considered opinion, citizens are conscience keepers of government in any democratic nation. They cannot be put behind bars simply because they choose to disagree with the state policies. The offence of sedition cannot be invoked to minister to the wounded vanity of the governments,” the court order said.
The order went on to add, “Difference of opinion, disagreement, divergence, dissent, or for that matter, even disapprobation, are recognised legitimate tools to infuse objectivity in state policies. An aware and assertive citizenry, in contradistinction with an indifferent or docile citizenry, is indisputably a sign of a healthy and vibrant democracy.”
“This 5,000 years old civilization of ours has never been averse to ideas from varied quarters. The following couplet in Rig Veda embodies our cultural ethos expressing our respect for divergent opinions- Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions,” Additional sessions Judge Dharmender Rana opined.