Toolkit row: Shantanu Muluk, one of 3 accused, seeks transit anticipatory bail

Feb 15, 2021 08:42 PM IST

Muluk has moved the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court, where his plea will be heard on Tuesday.

Shantanu Muluk, one of the three accused named by the Delhi Police in connection with the Google toolkit row, on Monday moved the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court, seeking transit anticipatory bail in connection with the case. The plea is similar to the one filed by activist-lawyer Nikita Jacob, who, earlier in the day, moved an urgent transit anticipatory bail plea before the high court.

Also Read | Greta toolkit: Nikita Jacob moves HC for anticipatory bail

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Satej Jadhav, who represents Muluk, said a non-bailable warrant (NBW) has been issued against Muluk in the first information report (FIR) filed by the Delhi Police’s cyber cell, which also includes names of Jacob and Bengaluru-based climate activist Disha Ravi. Ravi was arrested by the Delhi Police on Sunday.

The bench of Justice Vibha Kankanwadi has allowed the circulation of Muluk’s application and will take up the plea on Tuesday.

The Delhi Police said earlier in the day that Ravi, who has been sent to five-day police custody, created the toolkit detailing digital support for protests against the three farm laws, in collaboration with Jacob and Muluk. This information, the police claimed, was revealed by Ravi during her interrogation in Bengaluru. “The email account created by Shantanu is the owner of this doc and all others are editors,” Prem Nath, joint commissioner of police of the cyber cell, said.

Also Read | Disha Ravi, Nikita Jacob and Shantanu created toolkit, say Delhi Police

The officer further said that information from Jacob’s phone shows that she and Ravi had sent it to Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on the Telegram app.

The controversy dates back to earlier this month, when Thunberg was among a host of international celebrities, who tweeted on the ongoing farmers’ protest in India. Thunberg also tweeted a toolkit, detailing how to protest against the laws, but deleted the tweet and later posting an edited version of the document. After this, the Delhi Police registered an FIR against ‘unknown persons.’

Barbadian pop star Rihanna was the first international celebrity to tweet on the protests. US lawyer Meena Harris, the niece of vice president Kamala Harris, too, has tweeted about the farmers' protests, as well as the arrest of Ravi.

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