Gujarat High Court denies bail to ‘activist’ Teesta Setalvad in the fabrication of evidence case
On Saturday, the Gujarat High Court dismissed the bail application of activist Teesta Setalvad and ordered her to “surrender immediately.” The court’s decision comes after Setalvad was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court in September 2022, which had protected her from arrest until now.
Setalvad, based in Mumbai, has been facing allegations of fabricating evidence in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots. The charges against her include conspiring to falsely implicate innocent individuals in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.
According to the charge sheet filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT), Setalvad allegedly hatched a conspiracy to implicate “the then chief minister (and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi), higher officials of the state government, and top leaders of the BJP” with false evidence in order to attribute “death sentences” to them for the large-scale deaths during the 2002 communal riots.
The charge sheet accuses Setalvad of instituting a false case with fabricated evidence. As the court orders her to surrender, the case will continue to unfold, shedding light on the allegations surrounding the 2002 Gujarat riots and the role of various individuals involved.
Following the verdict by Justice Nirzar Desai, senior advocate Mihir Thakore requested the court to stay the verdict’s operation for 30 days. However, the request was rejected by Justice Desai.
Notably, Setalvad was arrested on June 25, 2022, by the Gujarat Police based on an FIR filed by the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB). After seven days in police remand, she was sent to judicial custody on July 2.
Setalvad’s arrest, along with that of co-accused former IPS R B Sreekumar, followed the Supreme Court’s dismissal of a plea by Zakia Jafri, wife of slain Congress MP Ahsan Jafri.
The plea challenged the Special Investigation Team’s clean chit to then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others regarding allegations of conspiracy in the riots.
In its verdict, the Supreme Court noted that the proceedings were pursued to “keep the pot boiling, obviously, for ulterior design” and emphasized the need for all those involved in such abuse of process to face legal consequences.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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