“Surrender Immediately”: Gujarat Court Denies Bail To Activist Teesta Setalvad

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The Gujarat High Court on Saturday rejected the regular bail plea of social activist Teesta Setalvad and directed her to surrender immediately in a case pertaining to the alleged fabrication of evidence to frame innocent people in 2002 post-Godhra riots cases.
The court of Justice Nirzar Desai rejected Setalvad’s bail plea and directed her to surrender immediately as she is already out of jail after securing interim bail.

As the applicant is out on interim bail granted by the Supreme Court, she is directed to surrender immediately, the court said in its order.

Setalvad and co-accused and former Director General of Police R B Sreekumar were taken into custody by Gujarat police on June 25 last year and a court sent them in judicial custody on July 2 after their police remand ended.

She walked out of jail in September 2022 after being granted relief by the Supreme Court.

The Ahmedabad crime branch registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Setalvad, Sreekumar and jailed former IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging the clean chit given by a special investigation team to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases.

Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt were accused of abusing the process of law by conspiring to fabricate evidence and frame innocent people for an offence punishable with capital punishment.

While dismissing the petition filed by Zakia Jafri whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots, the SC had observed that “it appears to us that a coalesced effort of the disgruntled officials of the State of Gujarat along with others was to create sensation by making revelations which were false to their own knowledge.” All those involved in such abuse of process “need to be in the dock and proceed in accordance with law,” the supreme court had said.

Setalvad and other two were subsequently booked under Indian Penal Code sections 468, 471 (forgery), 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence), 211 (institute criminal proceedings to cause injury), 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture), and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy).

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