Mumbai: In some respite for city-based advocate Nikita Jacob, one of the three accused of preparing and promoting the toolkit to instigate violence during the Republic Day tractor rally by farmers, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted her interim protection from arrest for three weeks.
This will enable her to approach an appropriate court in Delhi and seek proper pre-arrest bail.
A bench of Justice Prakash Naik granted her the relief after perusing the orders passed by Justice Vibha Kankanwadi of the Aurangabad bench of the HC, who had on Tuesday granted a similar relief to Shantanu Muluk, another accused in the same case.
Justice Naik's bench was petitioned by Jacob through senior counsel Mihir Desai, who argued that his client had prepared the toolkit along with several other people. He even pointed out that the kit only urged people to support farmers through the internet and that it did not speak of violence, nor did it in any manner suggest that protesting farmers take over Red Fort during their tractor parade on Republic Day.
Desai also claimed that the toolkit was uploaded on the internet and became a huge issue only after Swedish activist Greta Thunberg shared it on Twitter. He argued that his client absconded because she feared that her clients would be jeopardised, if she were arrested.
Delhi Police, on the other hand, had claimed that the toolkit had been prepared by Disha Ravi, Jacob, Shantanu and two other men, whom the prosecuting agency did not wish to name as of now. The agency, however, claimed that the two men belong to a banned outfit that promotes Khalistani ideology.
On February 11, the Delhi police had raided Jacob's house in suburban Goregaon and seized her personal documents, along with her laptop and phone. They, however, did not arrest her that same day, as by the time they completed their enquiry and seizures, it was sunset and as per law, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset.