SG requests adjournment; SC to hear Teesta Setalvad's bail plea on Aug 3text_fields
New Delhi: An appeal Teesta Setalvad filed asking for bail in the case filed by Gujarat ATS alleging manipulation of records to incriminate high state functionaries in the Gujarat riots conspiracy case has been deferred by the Supreme Court of India on Thursday.
After Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the State of Gujarat, asked for more time to make revisions in the response to the plea, a Bench made up of Justices UU Lalit, Ravindra Bhat, and Sudhanshu Dhulia adjourned the matter to the next Tuesday, August 30.
Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General (SG), stated during the hearing, "The response to the petition is ready. But I am not happy. Your Lordships may take it on Monday."
"The point is, the person is behind the bars. You can file it and give a copy at 2 pm today", the bench suggested.
SG reminded the court that there was nothing special about this case.
"Nothing special in this case but the petitioner has been in custody for 4 days", the Bench added.
"In accordance with law", SG Mehta was quick to state.
"For a serious offence. Other legal remedies have not been exhausted….", he further submitted.
Justice Lalit said, "We are also testing it, whether incarceration is required or not."
Meanwhile, the bench added that it might not be possible to hear the case on Monday.
"One difficulty we have is, on miscellaneous days, we have decided to have as many courts as possible. Other days it may not be possible."
The matter was then posted for Tuesday.
"Mr Sibal, we know the difficulty but we will list the first item on Tuesday. Monday, this combination won't be possible", the Bench led by Justice Lalit said, according to Live Law.
Accordingly, the court ordered,
"Matter mentioned by SG Tushar Mehta, appearing for the State of Gujarat. He submits that the response to the petition is ready but needs corrections. He assures that response shall be filed on or before Saturday. Rejoinder, if any, be filed on Monday. Matter to be taken up on Tuesday."
As the matter drew to a close, the SG said,
"From Monday the composition is entirely... We have the right to begin the day on a lighter note."
Upon hearing this, Sibal said,
"Every extra day's incarceration is wrong."
Teesta has filed a petition with the Supreme Court to challenge the Gujarat High Court's denial of her request for temporary relief. The Gujarat ATS detained her on June 26 in Mumbai, one day after the Supreme Court rejected Zakia Jafri's plea challenging the SIT's clearance of high-ranking State officials and the former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the purported broader plot behind the 2002 riots.
Zakia Jafri's petition was dismissed by a bench chaired by Justice AM Khanwilkar, who had previously accused the petitioners of "keeping the pot boiling" and having the "audacity" to cast doubt on the Special Investigation Team's integrity. The bench also stated that "all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceed in accordance with law".
The Gujarat ATS detained Teesta Setalvad, RB Sreekumar, and Sanjiv Bhatt the following day in connection with a case taken claiming the filing of fake proceedings using forged documents in reference to the 2002 riots. Sanjiv Bhatt is already spending time in prison in another case.