SC extends Teesta Setalvad's interim bail

The apex court has asked the couple to cooperate with the police and furnish all relevant documents

GN Bureau | February 19, 2015


#Teesta Setalvad   #supreme court   #gulbarg society  

Social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, accused of financial fraud will not be arrested, said a new bench of the supreme court on Thursday that was hearing the anticipatory bail plea filed by the couple.

The apex court extended interim bail for the couple and reserved its judgement on the plea filed by them seeking protection from arrest in the case.

Notably, chief justice H L Dattu has assigned their bail plea to a new bench even though none of the two judges on the earlier bench, which had stayed her arrest till Thursday, sought recusal from the hearing.

The apex court also took on the Gujarat police over its insistence on their arrest and asked ‘why to arrest them if they furnish documents and co-operate.’ Senior advocate Kapil Sibal is representing the couple in the supreme court.

The court also said that Teesta must provide all documents relating to donors of the funds and must cooperate with police in case it agrees to give her bail. The Gujarat government on the other hand had said that the couple must be arrested to enable the investigation in the case.

The couple moved to SC after the Gujarat high court rejected their anticipatory bail plea, leaving the police at liberty to arrest them.

The couple is accused of mishandling funds meant for construction of a museum at Gulbarg society in Ahmedabad, where 69 people were killed on February 28 in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The Gujarat police had alleged that Setalvad raised Rs. 9.75 crore between 2008 and 2012 through her NGO and spent Rs. 3.75 crore on shopping and foreign travel.

A complaint was filed against her by 12 residents of the Gulbarg society after the museum project was reportedly shelved.

The Gujarat Police Crime Branch had booked them for cheating, breach of trust and under the Income Tax Act.

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