The Supreme Court has granted activist Teesta Setalvad, the liberty to reach out to appropriate authority for protection in connection with a 2002 Gujarat riots case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India U U Lalit heard the plea regarding protection application of Teesta Setalvad, and said that she can move an appropriate application before concerned authority.
The Supreme Court was apprised by the Gujarat government on Monday that Setalvad was arrested for allegedly fabricating evidence to frame “innocent people” in the 2002 Gujarat riot cases, at the behest of a senior political leader.
The affidavit was filed in the Apex Court as Setalvad sought for bail in her plea. The state, however, claimed that the petitioner had allegedly received “large amounts of money”.
The CJI bench has disposed of a batch of 11 petitions that sought transfer of the pending Gujarat riots cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The court found that the cases have become infructuous after the probe. The prosecution of nine important cases was given to an SC-appointed Special Investigation Team.
Out of these nine cases, the Apex Court disposed of eight cases.
On August 22, the top court of the country had issued notice to the Gujarat government, seeking its response.
On June 24, the Apex Court had made certain observations against Setalvad and former DGP Sreekumar, terming both as ‘disgruntled.”
The remarks were made by a three-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court, while rejecting the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, wife of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed during the 2002 Gujarat Riots.
Zakia Jafri had challenged the Gujarat High Court’s verdict of 2017, upholding the magistrate’s decision to accept the closure report filed by SIT in the case.
The Court noted that there was a coalesced effort by them to create a sensation by making revelations that were false to their own knowledge.
After two days, Setalvad was arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad from Mumbai and taken to Gujarat. Sreekumar was also arrested from Gujarat.
On July 30, a Sessions Court in Ahmedabad refused to grant bail to Setalvad, noting that she and other accused appeared to have aimed to ‘destabilise’ the Gujarat government and defame the state for ulterior motives.
Setalvad then moved the Gujarat High Court for bail, which issued notice to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), seeking it’s response on the bail applications filed by Setalvad and former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) R.B. Sreekumar