The Bombay High Court has granted Nikita Jacob, advocate and activist, protection from arrest for three weeks in connection with her alleged involvement in the farmers’ protest “toolkit” case. The court passed transit anticipatory bail orders along with a Rs.25,000 bond on February 17.
Justice P.D Naik, who is hearing the case, passed the order after perusing the order of the Aurangabad Bench of the High Court, which had granted transit bail to Shantanu Muluk, the other Mumbai activist implicated in the case, on February 16.. The Delhi Police had issued nonbailable warrants against both activists, accusing them of creating the toolkit tweeted by climate change activist Greta Thunberg. Jacob and Muluk work for Extinction Rebellion (XR), a U.K based NGO in Mumbai. Jacob has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
The Delhi Police conducted a search of Nikita Jacob’s residence on February 11 and seized her laptop and other electronic devices. They interrogated her and then issued a nonbailable warrant. Justice Naik said: “The apprehension is fortified by the fact that nonbailable warrant was issued in Delhi thereafter,” the court said in its order. The court, referring to her lawyer Mihir Desai’s submissions about recording of her statement and seizure of her mobile and laptop said, “It indicated that the applicant has made herself available.”
Nikita Jacob has maintained that she worked on mobilising support towards the farmers’ movement via social media and that nothing she did was illegal or would incite violence. Mihir Desai said the information pack that Jacob and her colleagues created was to educate a broader audience on the ongoing farmers’ protest.
In a statement to the media, Nikita Jacob said: “The information contained in the toolkit does not in any manner incite riots or violence and is simply an information pack with information from various sources.... No weapons, no violence, no mention of anything remotely violent in the toolkit or any of our communication.”