In an interim relief to activist Teesta Setalvad and husband Javed Anand, the Bombay High Court has allowed their application for transit anticipatory bail filed on Wednesday and granted protection from arrest until May 2.
Justice Revati Mohite Dere passed the order on Thursday granting protection from arrest in context of a criminal complaint lodged against the couple by Gujarat Police.
Justice Dere referred the matter to a larger bench. Interim protection can be extended if the matter is not taken up by a larger bench until the next date, she said.
The Ahmedabad Crime Branch has alleged in the complaint that Teesta and her husband had “fraudulently” secured Central Government funds through their NGOs Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace. Police alleged that total amount of such funds would be around Rs. 1.4 crores misappropriated between 2008 and 2013.
Senior advocate Mihir Desai appeared on behalf of Setalvad and Anand. Apprehending their arrest, he sought transit anticipatory bail submitting that this will allow them both to travel to Gujarat and seek regular pre-arrest bail.
Desai also submitted that the couple would be willing to appear before the police this Friday. He also informed the court that Javed Anand would be available to appear before the police in the future as well whereas Teesta would be available after May 15 as she is going out of India on April 10.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani is appearing on behalf of Gujarat Police in the matter.
The criminal case registered against the couple has been filed for offences punishable under Sections 403, 406, and 409 of the Indian Penal Code.