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The Supreme Court wondered why the Gujarat High Court has listed activist Teesta Setalvad’s bail plea for hearing on September 19. In its response, six weeks after the High Court served the notice to the state government, the top court has asked the government to respond to Teesta’s plea and inform her by 2 pm on Friday. A bench of Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia fixed the next hearing on Setalvad’s plea on Friday. Setalvad was arrested for allegedly fabricating evidence to implicate innocent people in the 2002 Gujarat riots cases.
How can the court give this date?
CJI said that we will hear the matter tomorrow at 2 pm. The apparently unhappy CJI said to give such instances where in such cases the accused woman got such dates from the High Court. Either this woman has been made an exception. How can the court give this date? Is this standard practice in Gujarat?
During this, the court asked the Solicitor General – neither UAPA nor POTA case is registered against Teesta, yet for two months you have kept her in custody. The matter will be heard again on Friday at 2 pm. Opposing Teesta’s bail, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the matter is in the High Court, so you let the hearing take place there. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for Teesta and Solicitor General Mehta appeared for Gujarat government.
The Gujarat High Court had on August 3 issued notice to the state government on Setalvad’s bail plea and posted the matter for hearing on September 19. A sessions court in Ahmedabad had on July 30 rejected the bail pleas of Setalvad and former Director General of Police RB Sreekumar. The court had said that if they are released, it will send a message to the wrongdoers that one can level and evade charges without punishment.
Teesta accused of fabricating false evidence to implicate people
Setalvad and Sreekumar, both arrested in June, are accused of fabricating evidence to implicate innocent people in the post-Godhra riots of 2002. He is lodged in Sabarmati Central Jail. Sreekumar has also approached the High Court for bail. Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, the third accused in the case, has not applied for bail. Bhatt was already in jail in another criminal case when he was arrested in this case.
Setalvad and Sreekumar from Mumbai were arrested on June 24, within days of the Supreme Court dismissing a petition filed by Zakia Jafri. Zakia’s husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots in Ahmedabad in which the clean chit of the SIT was challenged.