Mumbai: City-based advocate Nikita Jacob, 30, one of the three individuals accused of promoting the 'toolkit' shared by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, moved the Bombay High Court on Monday, seeking an urgent hearing and protection from arrest by the Delhi Police.
She is facing a non-bailable warrant and has sought protection, especially after the sudden arrest of Bengaluru-based young climate activist Disha Ravi, who has been sent to police custody.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prakash Naik agreed to hear Jacob's plea on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, Justice Vibha Kankanwadi of the Aurangabad bench of the HC has granted an urgent hearing to Jacob's associate Shantanu Muluk and will hear his transit anticipatory bail plea on Tuesday morning.
Jacob, who has been a member of Extinction Rebellion, a movement that created awareness about various environmental issues in India and the world, has claimed that the Delhi police did not inform her that they were registering any FIR against her; and that she learnt about it through social media and the subsequent raid at her Mumbai house.
In her plea, Jacob claimed that she was deeply concerned about the recent farm laws and the consequent demonising of the farmers. She has been researching and circulating information for raising awareness to encourage peaceful participation and expressing solidarity with various vulnerable communities.
However, she was not aware that an FIR had been lodged against her and two others for attempting to organise a 'tweetstorm' ahead of the Republic Day protests by the farmers. The police have claimed that the toolkit shared by Jacob and other activists was created by the Poetic Justice Foundation, a Khalistani group.
“Some trolls and bots are circulating my personal information like email ids, phone numbers and pictures on social media. An entity named, ‘Legal Rights Observatory’ appears to have filed a false and baseless complaint with the Delhi Police and seeks to pin the blame for the violence on January 26, 2021, upon me," the advocate has stated in her plea.
Her plea further states that the posts of such 'anonymous' handle have been picked up by 'factless, untrustworthy and unethical' news channels, who have breached her right to privacy and have resorted to divulging her personal information, whilst alleging 'absolute lies to incite hate and violence against her, by claiming that she has ties with political parties like AAP".
Further, Jacob has claimed that the Delhi police, along with a constable from the city's Vanrai police station, had arrived at her house, armed with a search warrant and "seized some of her personal documents and electronic gadgets, which had confidential information protected by the attorney-client privilege".