Gujarat riots case: Teesta Setalvad moves for bail; SC hearing on Aug 22text_fields
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court decided on Tuesday to hear Teesta Setalvad's petition for interim release in a case in which she was detained for allegedly forging papers to implicate innocent people in the 2002 Gujarat riots cases on August 22.
On August 22, when attorney Aparna Bhat mentioned the case for urgent listing, a bench consisting of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices JK Maheshwari and Hima Kohli sent the matter for hearing before a bench presided over by Justice UU Lalit.
"Upon being mentioned by Aparna Bhat, Advocate on Record for the petitioner seeking urgent listing of the matter, the Registry is directed to list the matter on August 22, 2022, before a Bench presided over by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit," the bench in its order stated.
Setalvad filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of India against the Gujarat High Court's ruling dated August 3 that gave the Special Investigation Team (SIT) a deadline of September 19 to respond to bail requests made by Setalvad and former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) RB Sreekumar.
After having their bail requests denied by the Ahmedabad City Sessions Court, Setalvad and Sreekumar went to the High Court.
Setalvad and Sreekumar were denied bail on July 30 by the Ahmedabad Sessions Court, which noted that the accused appeared to have intended to "destabilise" the Gujarat government and disparage the state for their own purposes.
On the basis of a First Information Report (FIR) filed against them according to sections 468 (forgery for cheating) and 194 (fabricating false evidence with the purpose to get a conviction for death offences) of the Indian Penal Code, they were detained by the Ahmedabad Police Crime Branch on June 25.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) established to look into the case has claimed that Setalvad and Sreekumar were involved in a larger plot to topple the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) administration at the time, which was headed by Narendra Modi, the time's Gujarat Chief Minister, at the direction of the late Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
Sanjiv Bhatt, a former member of the IPS, is also charged in the matter.
After the Supreme Court on June 24 rejected the appeal filed by Zakia Jafri, the widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, challenging the clean chit given by the SIT to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several others in the 2002 Gujarat riots, the FIR against Setalvad, Sreekumar, and Bhatt was filed, ANI reported.
On February 28, 2002, when there was unrest at the Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad, 69 people were killed, including Ehsan Jafri. 64 persons, including Narendra Modi, who was the Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time of the riots, had been given the SIT's clean chit before Zakia Jafri challenged it.
The SIT in the Supreme Court had opposed Jafri's argument, claiming that the original complaint by Jafri was directed by activist Teesta Setalvad, who made accusations only to keep the fires burning. Teesta Setalvad had filed the original complaint in order to investigate the "larger conspiracy" behind the 2002 Gujarat riots.