1 July 2023 7:51 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court today rejected the regular bail plea filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad in connection with State Police FIR lodged against her for allegedly fabricating documents so as to implicate high government functionaries in relation to the 2002 Gujarat riots.Pronouncing the order today, the Bench of Justice Nirzar S. Desai directed her to surrender immediately. Till now,...
The Gujarat High Court today rejected the regular bail plea filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad in connection with State Police FIR lodged against her for allegedly fabricating documents so as to implicate high government functionaries in relation to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Pronouncing the order today, the Bench of Justice Nirzar S. Desai directed her to surrender immediately. Till now, she was protected against coercive actions due to the operation of the Supreme Court's interim bail order of September 2022.
The Court also rejected the prayer of the Counse of Setalvad to stay the operation of the order for 30 days. A detailed copy of the order is awaited.
Case against Setalvad
Setalvad is facing an FIR on the allegations of fabricating evidence and instituting false proceedings in relation to the Gujarat riots conspiracy case. The FIR against her was registered by the state police last year, a day after Setalvad's plea alleging a larger conspiracy in Gujarat Riots was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
While dismissing the Plea in June 2022, the Apex Court had observed that the petition was filed with "ulterior motives" to "keep the pot boiling". The Court further said that action should be taken against those who abused the process of law.
In its order, the SC observed that a "coalesced effort" of disgruntled officials from Gujarat and others was to make false sensational revelations, which the Gujarat SIT "exposed."
"Intriguingly, the present proceedings have been pursued for last 16 years… to keep the pot boiling, obviously, for ulterior design. As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law."
Read more about the Supreme Court's order here: Supreme Court Dismisses Zakia Jafri's Plea Against SIT Clean Chit To Narendra Modi In 2002 Gujarat Riots Larger Conspiracy Case
Pursuant to these observations, the FIR in question was registered against retired state DGP R B Sreekumar, Setalvad, and former IPS Officer Sanjiv Bhatt charging them with criminal conspiracy, forgery, and other Sections of the IPC. The FIR in question quoted extensively from the Supreme Court's order.
On June 25 itself, the Gujarat Police's Anti-Terrorism Squad took activist Teesta Setalvad into custody from her residence in Mumbai. Her bail plea was rejected by a lower court in Ahmedabad on July 30, challenging which, she had moved the Gujarat high court in July 2022.
Thereafter, she moved to the Supreme Court seeking bail in the case. The Supreme Court finally granted her interim bail on September 2 noting that she had been in custody for 2 months and the investigative machinery had the advantage of custodial interrogation for a period of 7 days.
Earlier on November 15, Justice Samir J. Dave of the Gujarat High Court recused from hearing the matter.
Case Title - TEESTA ATUL SETALVAD vs. STATE OF GUJARAT [CRIMINAL MISC.APPLICATION NO. 14435 of 2022]
Case Citation: 2023 Livelaw (Guj) 110
Click here to read the judgment