Nikita Jacob is an Indian advocate by profession, practising law at the Bombay High Court. Along with that, she is also a human rights and environmental activist. Nikita made news in February 2021 after the Delhi Police mentioned her in an FIR filed in the Greta Thunberg toolkit conspiracy case. She is accused of editing and authoring a toolkit posted by Greta Thunberg on 4 February 2021.
Nikita Jacob was born in 1991 (age 30 years; as of 2021) in Mumbai, Maharashtra. She completed her high school education at St. Joseph’s Convent School, Panchgani in 2006 and received her secondary school education at St. Xavier’s Junior College, Mumbai. Thereafter, she pursued a Bachelor of Socio-Legal Sciences Bachelor of Laws (B.S.L. LL.B) from Pune’s ILS Law College and completed the course in 2013. Nikita Jacob LinkedIn
Nikita worked as an intern at several law firms while pursuing her 5-year degree in law. After attaining her degree, she got herself enrolled at the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa in 2013. In 2015, she registered with the High Court of Bombay. Over the years, she has worked at several law firms including SK Legal Associates (Mumbai) from April 2015 to November 2016, at Tatva Legal (Mumbai) from November 2016 to April 2017, and with advocate Girish Godbole from August 2017 to November 2020.
Nikita was inclined towards activism since her college days and was back then also a member of a human rights cell. During her days in college, Nikita volunteered as a teacher for an NGO Make A Difference for more than two years (2008-2010). Over the years, she has remained associated with several welfare organisations. In 2018, she became a volunteer for the global environmental movement Extinction Rebellion (XR).
On 4 February 2021, Greta Thunberg, a Swedish environmental activist, came to the support of Indian farmers protesting against the three farm laws introduced by the Indian Government in September 2020. Greta also shared a document called toolkit on her Twitter account to enable people to better understand and analyse the farmers’ protest and fetch their support for it.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) February 3, 2021
According to Delhi Police, the toolkit was created by a certain pro-Khalistani organisation in collaboration with some activists in India. The police said that the toolkit was a part of an international conspiracy against India and was used to incite violence that took place in Delhi on 26 January 2021. In connection with the toolkit case, the Delhi police booked several people including Nikita Jacob, Disha Ravi (a young environmental activist), and Shantanu (a Bangalore based engineer). The charges framed against all the three, including Nikita (accused of editing and creating the toolkit), were under IPC Sections 124(A) for sedition, 153(A) for promoting enmity between groups, and 120(B) for criminal conspiracy. On 11 February 2021, a Delhi Police cyber cell unit raided Nikita’s residence in Mumbai. Talking about the toolkit during her interrogation with the Delhi Police, Nikita said,
The information contained in the toolkit does not in any manner incite riots or violence and is simply an information pack with information from various sources… No weapons, no violence, no mention of anything remotely violent in the toolkit or any of our communication”
She further said that the act to make an informational kit for an ongoing agitation was “natural and perfectly legal in a democracy guarded by a constitution as strong as ours.” On 15 February, the Delhi Police issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Nikita Jacob. Consequently, Nikita approached the Bombay High Court for relief. On 16 February 2021, a single bench of justice Vibha Kankanwadi granted her three-week transit anticipatory bail in the case.
- Jacob is a first-generation lawyer in her family.
- As an advocate, Nikita holds a great interest in reading, writing, researching, logic & analysis. She also has an extracurricular interest in art, media, music, and sports. She used to participate in various sports competitions during her time at school and college.
- She is a multilingual person, having fluency in English, Hindi, and Malayalam, and elementary level proficiency in French.
- Amid the nationwide lockdown in April 2020, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hindustan Times, in collaboration with Juggernaut Books, launched ‘One Story, One Nation’ campaign to encourage people to read books. HT shared videos of celebrities and also the common people reading excerpts from Rabindranath Tagore’s book Kabuliwala. Below is the video of Nikita Jacob, uploaded on Hindustan Times’ YouTube page in which she is reading a brief extract from the Kabuliwala.