Bombay HC extends Teesta Setalvad's interim bail by two weekstext_fields
Mumbai: In a relief to activist Teesta Setalvad, the Bombay High Court on Friday extended her interim bail by two weeks.
Earlier in the day, a Mumbai court had refused Setalvad’s anticipatory bail plea.
Teesta has been accused of violating foreign exchange laws and misusing the funds donated to her NGO by the US-based Ford Foundation in 2009.
After rejection, a shocked Teesta replied, “I am shocked and aggrieved. This is an attempt to intimidate me by the powers that be at the centre.”
Noticing her claims, Teesta was warned by court about her about contempt proceedings.
Earlier, CBI controversially described her as "a threat to national security."
Facing closure notice, activist Teesta Setalvad’s two NGOs - Citizens for Justice and Peace and Sabrang Trust - have conveyed to the Home Ministry that they have done no financial irregularities and no foreign contribution was misused by any of its office bearer.
The reply came in response to the notices served by the Home Ministry asking the NGOs why their registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act would not be cancelled as on-site inspection of records and books of accounts of the two found “irregularities and financial misappropriation”.
Sabrang Trust said its primary activities include school education, information documentation and dissemination and advocacy.
The primary focus of Sabrang is on celebration, promotion of constitutional values (diversity, pluralism, communal amity, rule of law, impartial policing, accountability of state actors) and combating religious intolerance, hate propaganda, communal violence, terrorism, it said.
This project was funded by Ford Foundation between October 2009 and March 2013.
Between 2003 and 2014, Teesta Setalvad received an average of Rs 39,000 per month as honorarium for execution of specific projects of Citizens for Justice and Peace and Sabrang Trust funded by different donor agencies, it said.
During the same period, Teesta’s husband Javed Anand got an average of Rs 23,500 per month as salary for execution of specific projects of the two NGOs funded by different donor agencies.
The auditors have found no financial discrepancy in the records of Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace, the NGO claimed.
Citizens For Justice and Peace, which primarily works for providing legal aid to victims of “mass crimes (communalism, terrorism),” too denied the allegations of embezzlement of funds by Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand.
Since its inception till date, over 70 per cent of the funds received by CJP (including foreign donations) have been raised by the trustees through personal contributions, donations from their family and friends and art auction, it claimed.