Falsely Implicated Innocents, Exploited Feelings Of Minorities, Was Funded By A Political Party: Gujarat HC While Rejecting Teesta's Bail Plea
The Gujarat High Court today while rejecting Teesta Setalvad’s application seeking regular bail has made strong observations, while clarifying that it was compelled to do so since detailed submissions were made by both sides in the case where chargesheet papers are around five thousand pages.
The Bench of Justice Nirzar S Desai directed Teesta to surrender immediately while rejecting the request of the Counsel for Teesta for a 30-day stay on the order. Senior Advocate Mihir Thakore appeared for Teesta while Public Prosecutor Mintesh Amin along with Additional Public Prosecutors Manan Mehta and Ronak Raval appeared for the prosecution.
"Aforesaid statement of Raees Khan also speaks about how by making false allegations about how the minorities in Gujarat are tortured, oppressed and not getting justice and by fabricating evidence in the form of false affidavits and by holding press conferences, by influencing witnesses and by projecting wrong facts and by framing innocents, the present applicant has collected huge funds from Islamic countries", the Court has observed in its 127 page order.
The Court has also found that prima facie Teesta has exploited the feelings of minorities by provoking them and manipulating things. "...as it comes out prima facie from the record that present applicant has not let any stone unturned to exploit the feelings of minorities by provoking them and by engineering and by manipulating things....this Court prima facie is of the view that present applicant has not only past track record of going to any extent to achieve the agenda which is entrusted to her...", the High Court said in its Order.
"...by playing with the sentiments of two wounded communities as she had used sentiments of a particular community to her benefit, collected money for her and ultimately did not help those victims as promised.." the Court found.
The High Court also observed in its Order that if Teesta is granted bail, we may see many more persons "playing with the sentiments of the community just to ensure that particular political party gets sufficient swing in their favour" by exploiting their religious and communal feelings and by provoking them as persons who are oppressed and are not given justice by the establishment.
The High Court noted in its order that Teesta was "funded freely by political party and was assured of more funds if requires" and that same shows how influential Teesta is. The Court noted that late Congress leader Ahmed Patel had told Teesta that she need not worry about money and that and she would get ample funds as per her requirement.
"The affidavit also throws light of the present applicant who was journalist in the year 1992 and though was never into social services registered an NGO i.e. Citizen for Justice and Peace, collected funds for unsettling the establishment and ultimately went on to become the member of the National Planning Commission", the Court said in the order about personal gains to Teesta after committing alleged illegalities.
The order was pronounced today by the High Court. “In view of the discussion, present application stands dismissed, as the present applicant is out on interim bail as granted by hon’ble Supreme Court…the applicant is directed to surrender immediately”, the Judge said.
The Supreme Court on September 2, 2022 had granted an interim bail to Setalvad. She had earlier moved the Court challenging the refusal of interim relief by the Gujarat High Court in the case filed against her by Gujarat ATS alleging that she had been falsifying records in order to implicate high ranking officials in 2002 Gujarat Riot Case.
Earlier, a sessions court in Ahmedabad had refused bail to Setalvad and former Director General of Police R B Sreekumar.
She was arrested by the Gujarat ATS a day after the Supreme Court bench led by Justice A. M. Khanwilkar had pronounced the judgment in the plea filed by Zakia Jafri challenging the clean chit given by SIT to the high-ranking officials and the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat Riot Case.
The Gujarat police had opposed her bail application. She was part of a "larger conspiracy" carried out at the behest of late Congress leader Ahmed Patel to dismiss the BJP government in the state after the 2002 riots, claimed an affidavit filed by the police's Special Investigation Team before the Sessions Court.
Cause Title: Teesta Atul Setalvad v. State Of Gujarat