[Gujarat Riots Larger Conspiracy] "BJP will resign in three days, make me Rajya Sabha MP": SIT alleges Quid Pro Quo between Teesta Setalvad & Congress leaders

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Last month, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) proceeded to arrest Teesta Setalvad in connection with a fresh case of forgery, criminal conspiracy and placing false evidence in court to frame innocent people in the 2002 Gujarat riots case. Teesta Setalvad and others have been booked under IPC sections 468 (forgery) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence) among other offences

The Special Investigation Team has vehemently opposed Teesta Setalvad's plea in Bhadra, Ahmedabad City Civil and Sessions Court, stating that ocular and documentary evidence collected by it reveals that ample grounds exists 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 states 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".

Alleged involvement of Congress leaders

In the affidavit, the SIT has claimed that two witness statements reveal that this was entailed at behest of late Indian National Congress leader Ahmed Patel who was the political advisor to the INC and also an MP from Rajya Sabha.

"The applicant started to act as part of the conspiracy from the very beginning, as just a few days after Godhra train incident, the applicant held meetings with Ahmed Patel and received Rs. 5 Lakh at the first instance where the money was given to her by one witness at the instructions of Late Shri Ahmed Patel... said witness had handed over 25 Lakh more to the applicant on the instruction of Late Shri Ahmed Patel"
- Excerpt of Affidavit


SIT while opposing bail says that Teesta's meetings with political leaders "of a prominent national party in power at the time" had "no connection with any relief work" but were conducted to discuss "implicating senior leaders of BJP India Government in Gujarat in these riots case".

"Teesta had political ambition": SIT

SIT tells city sessions court that Teesta Setalvad had political ambitions which were revealed in course of a conversation made by a witness with an unknown political leader - she said "Shabana and Javed to give a chance to Minya Bibi? Why not make me a Rajya Sabha member"

It is stated that she made this statement (as stated by witness) when Teesta Setalvad and RB Sreekumar had gone to Pandarvada village of Mahisagar District in 2006, where an incident of exhumation of human skeletal remains took place, adding that "BJP Government would have to resign in three days".

The witness further revealed, according to the SIT that for her efforts in malicious and vexatious prosecution and litigation and for the efforts of her team to falsely project the theory of larger conspiracy in an effort to false implicate persons in crime, Teesta Setalvad received Padma Sri by then GOI in 2007.

"Muslim man paraded for maligning state government's image"

The statement by witness according to SIT reveals that one Qutbuddin Ansari was approached by Raiskhan Pathan, who was the convenor of Teesta's NGO CJP and he was taken by Teesta Setalvad on her instructions to Mumbai and Kolkata where him and his family were paraded by various media channels to malign the state government's image.

"Ansari further stated that when he became aware of the political and financial misuse of his image, he returned to Gujarat. The witness stated that he had been called by the petitioner to her lawyer's office in Ahmedabad and intimidated and chastised for leaving her team. The Witness stated before the IO that he had made several appeals to all media channels and had also preferred an appeal before Ahmedabad City Police praying to impose a ban on the use of his image in the future. The statement of the witness Qutbuddin Ansari is also corroborated by statement of other witnesses"
-Excerpt of Affidavit

Sanjiv Bhat in constant touch with Congress leaders, received "packages" and tutored by Teesta Setalvad

It is stated in the SIT's affidavit that Mr. Sanjib Bhatt, who was then DIG of Gujarat was in constant tough with Teesta Setalvad who was tutoring him for his deposition before Nanavati Commission with mock questions and answers.

"Congress leaders of Gujarat were in constant touch with Sanjib Bhat. From the various emails, it appears that he was holding personal meetings with senior congress leaders as well"

Vithalbhai Pandya refused to sign complaint prepared by Advocate of Teesta Setalvad

It is alleged that after Vithalbhai Pandya, father of Haren Pandya made statement before media that the CM of Gujarat was responsible for his sons death, Setalvad chased him and finally a complaint was prepared in office if Sohail Tirmizi (advocate for Teesta Setalvad) which Pandya refused to sign as names of several innocent persons had been mentioned as accused in the same complaint.

Goal was never interest of securing justice, the SIT has stated but to fund herself and her homes as well as live a luxurious life, whereby she collected money in name of relief work and rehabilitation, construction of museum "Gulbarg museum of resistance" for Gujarat riots victims.

Teesta Tutored Zakia Jafri: SIT

The SIT has opposed the contention of Teesta Setalvad that the present FIR against her has been filed on deliberate misreading of cross-examination of Zakia Jafri and nowhere she has mentioned that she was tutored by her but her statement before a court said she was tutored by Teestaben and Sreekumar in Para 56 of CW in sessions case no. 152/02 and others arising out of Meghaninagar I CR No. 67/02.


[Case Title: Teesta Setalvad Vs. State of Gujarat]
NDOH: July 18, 2022

Last month, a Supreme Court judgment rejecting a plea by late Congress MP’s wife Zakia Jafri noted that it was argued by respondents that Teesta Setalvad had been vindictively pursuing the litigation for her ulterior design by exploiting the emotions and sentiments of Zakia. Interestingly, the same phrase has been used in the judgment's concluding remarks.