The Bombay High Court today granted Mumbai lawyer and environmental activist Nikita Jacob transit bail for three weeks in connection with a case filed by the Delhi police in connection with the Toolkit matter. In case of arrest, she will be released on a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and one surety of like amount.
The Delhi police had on Monday alleged that she, along with Bengaluru environmentalist Disha Ravi and Maharashtra engineer Shantanu Muluk, had created a toolkit meant to tarnish India’s image. In the process, they were allegedly in direct touch with “pro-Khalistani elements”.
The toolkit was meant to garner international support for the ongoing farmers’ protest against three new central farm laws.
Ms Jacob had yesterday told the court that there was a Zoom meeting before Republic Day, which was attended by Poetic Justice Foundation founder MO Dhaliwal, and other fellow activists, including Ms Ravi. In a document submitted by her lawyer, she claimed the “toolkit” was prepared by Extinction Rebellion (XR) India volunteers for presenting the whole picture with a simple breakdown for an international audience.
Her lawyer told the court that the police had seized her laptops and mobile phones, and now she fears arrest.
The Justice PD Naik reserved his order for today. His order noted that the applicant was a permanent resident of Mumbai and the police case was lodged in Delhi. Also, the relief sought by her was only temporary, he said.
“The applicant apprehends that she will be arrested at any point of time. She has to make arrangements to seek relief from a court in another state. Hence, this court is of the opinion that protection as sought by the applicant can be granted for a temporary period,” Justice Naik said, desisting from commenting on the merits of the case against her.
Ms Ravi, meanwhile, has already been arrested from Bengaluru in connection with the formulation and dissemination of the ”Toolkit” document.
The accused persons have been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 124(a) for sedition, 153(a) for promoting enmity between different sections of the society and 120(b) for criminal conspiracy.