HC Issues Notice to Gujarat Govt on Social Activist Teesta Setalvad’s Bail Plea


Last Updated: August 03, 2022, 22:00 IST

Social activist Teesta Setalvad was arrested in June for allegedly fabricating evidence to frame people in Gujarat riots cases. (Image: PTI/File)

On July 30, a sessions court rejected the bail applications of Setalvad and Sreekumar after which they moved to the High Court for relief

The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the state government on the bail plea filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad arrested for allegedly fabricating evidence to frame “innocent people” in the 2002 riots cases. Justice Ilesh J Vora issued the notice to the state government, seeking its response to the plea, and fixed September 19 for the next hearing.

Setalvad and former Director General of Police (DGP) RB Sreekumar, both arrested in June, are accused of fabricating evidence to frame “innocent people” in the post-Godhra riots cases. They are lodged in the city’s Sabarmati central jail. Sreekumar has also moved the HC for bail. Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, the third accused in the case, has not applied for bail. Bhatt was already in jail for another criminal matter when he was arrested in this case.

On July 30, a sessions court rejected the bail applications of Setalvad and Sreekumar after which they moved to the High Court for relief. The sessions court, in its order, had said granting them bail will send a message to wrongdoers that a person can level allegations with impunity and get away with them.

The accused apparently aimed to destabilize the Gujarat government and defame the state for their ulterior motives, it said while denying them relief. They were arrested by the Ahmedabad city crime branch in June after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against them under Indian Penal Code sections 468 (forgery for cheating) and 194 (fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offences).

Mumbai-based Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested within a couple of days after the Supreme Court on June 24 dismissed a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, the wife of former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri who was killed in Ahmedabad during the riots, triggered by the torching of a coach of Sabarmati Express by a mob near Godhra station on February 27, 2002. As many as 59 passengers were charred to death in the incident.

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