13 Dec 2022 11:35 AM GMT
The Gujarat High Court today adjourned to January 4 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 of Justice Hemant M. Prachchhak, Senior Advocate...
The Gujarat High Court today adjourned to January 4 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 of Justice Hemant M. Prachchhak, Senior Advocate Mihir Thakore appearing for Setalvad requested that the matter be heard after vacations. Public Prosecutor Mitesh Amin did not object to the request and thus, the Court posted the case for further hearing on January 4.
"My request would be that can it be taken after vacations on any day. I am out of the station from the 21st (December). It (hearing in the matter) will not be over by then...Both of us (including the public prosecutor) would not be able to conclude," requested Senior Advocate Mihir Thakore before the Court adjourned the hearing on the matter.
Case against Setalvad
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 before the Top Court (which was dismissed in June 2022), 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 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 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 onJanuary 4 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.
Earlier on November 15, Justice Samir J. Dave of the Gujarat High Court recused from hearing the matter.