15 Nov 2022 10:42 AM GMT
Justice Samir J. Dave of the Gujarat High Court today recused from hearing the regular bail plea filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad in connection with State Police FIR against her for allegedly fabricating documents so as to implicate high government functionaries in relation to the 2002 Gujarat riots. When the matter came up for hearing before the bench and Setalvad's Counsel SM...
Justice Samir J. Dave of the Gujarat High Court today recused from hearing the regular bail plea filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad in connection with State Police FIR against her for allegedly fabricating documents so as to implicate high government functionaries in relation to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
When the matter came up for hearing before the bench and Setalvad's Counsel SM Vatsa started making submissions, Justice Dave said "Not before me". Now, the matter will come up before another Bench as fresh after obtaining nomination.
Setalvad is facing an FIR on allegations of fabricating evidence and instituting false proceedings in relation to the Gujarat riots conspiracy case. The FIR was registered by the state police a day after Setalvad's plea alleging a larger conspiracy in Gujarat Riots was dismissed by the Supreme Court on June 24, 2022.
For context, it may be noted that in her plea, Setalvad along with Zakia Ehsan Jafri had challenged the closure report filed by SIT discarding the allegations of a larger conspiracy by high state functionaries including the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and 63 others in the Gujarat riots of 2002 that ensued the Godhra train massacre.
While dismissing the Plea, 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 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 on August 16 and the 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.