A Delhi court directed Delhi Police to give 7-day notice to Toolkit case accused Nikita Jacob, Shantanu Muluk and Shubham Kar Chaudhari if it requires their custodial interrogation in the sedition case lodged against them.
Additional Sessions Judge Dharmendra Rana disposed of the said anticipatory bail applications as defence counsels — Senior Advocate Rebecca John and Advocate Soutik Banerjee — proposed that they would withdraw the application if the prosecution agreed to give prior intimidation before arresting the accused.
During the hearing, the prosecution argued that the matter needs technical investigation and custodial interrogation of the accused is necessary.
“As far as this probe is concerned, almost the entire activity of creating this document took place on 7 apps including Signal, Google Docs, Zoom, WhatsApp etc,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Cyber Cell) Anwesh Roy said while adding that the owner decides who can edit the document.
“We have already asked Twitter for info as these people have deleted a lot of content. All these entities are based abroad. Signal, Telegram and Proton Mail have the USP to show reluctance in sharing information with law enforcement agencies. All the data is end-to-end encrypted,” he argued further.
The prosecution told the court that Shantanu Muluk deleted the entire logs of his device since July, specific photographs of his Delhi visit has been deleted. Location data has also been deleted.
“These are not the data which were in public domain. They were under password protection,” said DCP Anwesh Roy.
Appearing for Muluk, Advocate Vrinda Grover argued that her client is joining the probe and has also been confronted with co-accused Disha Ravi and Nikita Jacob.
“Except for Saturday and Sunday and one Tuesday, I have been summoned every day from 10.30 am and I leave around midnight,” she argued.
“I do not know what is PJF, ExReb, was asked to join a zoom call with AskIndiaWhy campaign regarding Farmers Protest. ExReb. revived the invite from Instagram,” she added.
“I created an email ID scrapfarm… on Gmail.. They (police) say I am the owner of this account and the Google Doc, this is not the nature of the Google Doc, I just started it, anyone can add to it, I only started it, I don’t own it. It would be factually incorrect to say this,” she said.