The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted Mumbai-based lawyer Nikita Jacob protection from arrest for three weeks in the case filed by the Delhi Police against creators of the campaign document tweeted by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg to support the farmers’ protest against the agricultural laws, Bar and Bench reported.
A single bench of Justice PD Naik delivered the verdict after examining the order passed by Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court. The court observed that since the police had searched Jacob’s house, seized her laptop and phone, and also recorded her statement, it meant that she has made herself available for investigation, according to Live Law.
Since Jacob will have to ultimately approach the Delhi courts for bail after three weeks, Justice Naik refused to comment on the merits of the case.
The Delhi Police had issued non-bailable arrest warrants Jacob and another activist Shantanu Muluk in the case. The Aurangabad bench gave 10-day transit bail to Muluk on Tuesday, but had reserved its verdict on the transit bail plea of Jacob.
The Delhi Police have claimed that both of them had attended a Zoom call with a “pro-Khalistani” organisation in Canada called the Poetic Justice Foundation, to chalk out the modalities related to the farmers’ protests against the new agricultural laws.
In her bail plea, Jacob had submitted that she might be arrested in a false and frivolous case. She sought four weeks’ time and protection from coercive action. “The applicant has not committed any crime, as appears to have alleged or otherwise,” it added. “The applicant is unable to defend herself as she is a permanent resident of the address in Mumbai and the alleged complaint/FIR is lodged in Delhi and contents of same are not known to the applicant.”
Jacob also said that personal information about her was being circulated on social media. She alleged that certain “unethical” news channels have also been spreading lies about her.
The non-bailable warrants against Jacob and Muluk were issued after 22-year-old climate activist Disha Ravi was arrested in Bengaluru for allegedly editing and circulating the document that authorities say is anti-government. The “toolkit” – a common term used by social activists for campaign material – was first tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in support of India’s protesting farmers on February 4.
In the first information report filed in the case, the police have claimed that the campaign document has “a call for economic warfare against India and certain Indian companies”. The FIR in connection has been filed on charges of sedition, promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy.
“There is a call for economic warfare against India and certain Indian companies,” it alleged. “Their assets in India and outside are to be made targets for physical as well as coordinated actions. There is also a call to protest specifically outside Indian Embassies and target symbols linked to Indian culture such as Yoga and Chai.”