The Supreme Court did not give any relief to social activist Teesta Setalvad in a case in which she is accused of playing a role in illegal exhumation of bodies of some victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Setalvad had approached against the Gujarat High Court’s May 27 decision refusing to quash the FIR lodged against her at a police station in Panchmahal district .
“We at the moment feel there is no need to adjudicate on merits as the charge sheet in the case has already been filed in a trial court”, a bench of justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy observed adding it would be appropriate for the petitioner to seek all the remedy, including the quashing of the charge sheet filed on April 3, 2011, before the trial court.
“When the charge sheet is there, can't you go and raise all these questions before the trial court”, the bench asked senior advocate Kapil Sibal who represented Setalvad.
Sibal countered that though the charge sheet has been filed, no offence has been made out against Setalvad in the case.
The social activist has denied the allegations claiming that she was victimised for taking up the cause of the riot victims.
Earlier, the Gujarat government, in an affidavit, had justified its probe against Setalvad in the case saying she had actually planned and executed the digging of the graves without any permission in 2006.
It had claimed that during the probe, it had emerged that Teesta was the main accused, who actually planned and executed this operation of digging of graves near Pandarwada through her staff.
The government had alleged that the other accused have claimed innocence and blamed Setalvad for instigating them to carry out the exhumation, which is a penal offence.
It had said the exhumation of the dead bodies without permission of the competent authorities constituted an offence under sections 192 (fabricating false evidence), 193 (punishment for false evidence, 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 120-B criminal conspiracy), 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 297 (trespassing on burial places) of the IPC.
It was alleged that in 2002, about 28 unidentified bodies of the riot victims from Pandarwada and surrounding villages in Khanpur taluka were buried in the graveyard.