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Teesta Setalvad, a co-petitioner in the plea challenging the clean chit given to then CM Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots case, was detained by Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad in Mumbai on June 25, 2022.
A Sessions Court in Ahmedabad has rejected the bail applications of Teesta Setalvad and former IPS officer RB Sreekumar, Indian Express reported.
The bail was sought in a case of fabrication of evidence related to the Gujarat riots case.
Teesta Setalvad, a co-petitioner in the plea challenging the clean chit given to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots case, was detained by Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad in Mumbai on June 25, 2022.
She was taken into custody based on a complaint by police inspector DB Barad. The complaint was filed against Sreekumar, Sanjiv Bhatt and Setalvad leveling allegations of forgery, criminal conspiracy and other offences under Indian Penal Code. An ATS team reached Setalvad’s Mumbai residence in the afternoon the same day and thereupon took her to Santacruz police station.
On June 24, 2022 the Supreme Court had dismissed the plea by Zakia Jafri, challenging the ‘clean chit’ given to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi by the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the riots that followed the Godhra Carnage at Gujarat in 2002.
On Teesta Setalvad, the court had taken note of the strong objections that SIT and state of Gujarat had to implead Teesta Setalvad as a party in the litigation. The judgment noted that the respondents had argued that “Teesta been vindictively persecuting this lis for her ulterior design by exploiting the emotions and sentiments of Zakia”.
Interestingly, the Supreme Court, in its concluding remarks, had stated that the proceedings have been pursued for the last 16 years to keep the pot boiling, for ulterior design. However, the court had observed that it did not wish to get into the locus of Teesta Setalvad, Secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace, an organisation allegedly formed to advocate for the victims of 2002 Gujarat riots, in the litigation and had kept it to be decided in an appropriate case.
Notably, the Special Investigation Team had vehemently opposed Teesta Setalvad's bail plea in Bhadra, Ahmedabad City Civil and Sessions Court, stating that ocular and documentary evidence collected by it revealed that ample grounds existed to support allegation of larger conspiracy to achieve "political, financial and other material benefits" by means of executing a larger and well thought of conspiracy.
Before Additional sessions judge DD Thakkar, the SIT on affidavit undersigned by ACP BC Solanki stated that the political objective of the applicant while enacting the larger conspiracy was dismissal of elected government in Gujarat by "hook or by crook", for which Teesta had obtained illegal financial and other benefits and rewards from the rival political party, "in lieu of her attempts to wrongly implicate and prosecute various authorities and other innocent persons in the state of Gujarat including then Chief Minister Narendra Modi”.
A copy of the order rejecting the bail is yet to be made available.
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