Toolkit case: HC grants three weeks of transit anticipatory bail to Nikita Jacob

The police claim to be in possession of some documents of the toolkit that were allegedly edited by Nikita for ‘anti-national movement’

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted transit anticipatory bail of three weeks to advocate Nikita Jacob in connection with climate campaigner Greta Thunberg’s ‘toolkit’ related to protesting farmers.

A single Bench of justice P.D. Naik granted her relief after reserving the order on Tuesday.

Justice Vibha Kankanwadi of the Aurangabad Bench on Tuesday granted 10 days of transit anticipatory bail to Shantanu Muluk in the same case.

On Tuesday, counsel for Delhi Police Hiten Venegavkar had raised questions on the maintainability of Ms. Jacob’s application and said that there was no provision for transit bail under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). He said the offence was registered in Delhi, therefore no cause of action had arisen here. He had pointed out that under Section 438 (direction for grant of bail to person apprehending arrest) of the CrPC, the court did not have the power to grant anticipatory bail for cases outside its jurisdiction.

Senior advocate Mihir Desai, representing Ms. Jacob, had urged the court to look at the limited purpose of granting transit anticipatory bail as the NBW was issued by the Tis Hazari court. He said they (Delhi Police) had raided Ms. Jacob’s house and seized her electronic devices.

He contended that she was an advocate of this court and an environmental enthusiast. According to them, she was preparing the toolkit but then it did not contain any violent acts or anything pertaining to taking over the Red Fort, he stated.

Ms. Jacob had filed her plea through advocate Sanjukta Dey on February 15 that mentioned that she had not received a copy of the complaint or the FIR if filed by any authority and when she tried to procure the same it was denied to her. On February 11, the cyber cell unit accompanied by a constable from Vanrai Police Station came to Ms. Jacob’s house with a search warrant and seized personal documents and electronic gadgets from her house which had confidential information protected by attorney-client privilege.

On February 4, Delhi Police registered a complaint against Ms. Jacob and alleged that Ms. Thunberg’s organisation — Poetic Justice Foundation — had contacted Ms. Jacob to organise a “tweet storm” in support of the farmers’ protest.

The police claim to be in possession of some documents of the toolkit that were allegedly edited by Ms. Jacob for ‘anti-national movement’. She has been booked for sedition under the Indian Penal Code. The toolkit has certain documents and ways for protesting outside Indian embassies.

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