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Teesta misappropriated funds for wine & luxury: Gujarat to SC

Teesta misappropriated funds for wine & luxury: Gujarat to SC

New Delhi: Gujarat police has opposed in the Supreme Court the anticipatory bail plea of Teesta Setalvad, saying the social activist and her husband "misappropriated" funds meant for charity for personal expenses ranging from wine, earbuds to expensive mobile phones besides tampering with evidence.

The state police in its affidavit said Setalvad and her husbandJaved Anand as trustees of two trusts -- Sabrang Trust andCitizen for Justice and Peace (CJP) -- have by "diverse methods" allegedly "misappropriated the funds of charity and converted to their own use funds meant for the rehabilitation and welfare of the unfortunate victims of riots in Gujarat in Feb-March 2002," including construction of "dream museum".

It said the probe into the case of alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Gulbarg society, devastated in the 2002 riots, revealed that expenses of "very personal nature" have been debited by them under the head "Secular Education" or "Legal Aid Expenses".

It said the probe is supported by evidence like vouchers having dates and amounts incurred on consumption of wine, whiskey and rum, purchase of movie CDs of Singham, Jodha Akbar and Paa, payment for several pairs of spectacles, wining and dining at some of the best restaurants and fast food outlets of Mumbai.

The crime branch said under the heading of "secular education" and "legal aid expenses", the investigation revealed that Setalvad claimed reimbursment towards purchase of sanitary napkins in the name of medical expense and "surprisingly" her husband too claimed reimbursment for it.

Further, purchases of purely personal items like ear buds, wet wipes, nail clippers, ladies personal items, several books including romantic novels like Mills and Boon and Thrillers like Total Control, Blackberry phone and clothes were made from the funds of Sabrang Trust.

The affidavit said, interestingly the investigation which is based on "limited documents" submitted by the couple recently to the investigating officer, also throws light that funds were used for hair styling expenses incurred by Setalvad during her trips to Rome and Pakistan and also for Gulbarg Society functions.

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