Breaking: Supreme Court Grants Interim Bail To Teesta Setalvad
The Supreme Court today granted interim bail to Teesta Seetalvad. The Court noted in its order that the High Court ought to have considered prayer for interim bail during the pendency of Teesta's bail application.
The Court said that it is not considering whether Teesta should be finally released on bail or not, which has to be considered by the High Court. The Court said that Teesta is entitled to interim bail pending that consideration.
The Bench comprising of Chief Justice U. U. Lalit, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia noted in the order that the appellant is a lady and is in custody since June 25 and that the alleged offence is of the year 2002. The Court also noted that the investigative officers had the advantage of custodial interrogation for a period of 7 days.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the state of Gujarat argued that the Judge of the Gujarat High Court only followed a uniform practice in adjourning Teesta's bail plea. This was countered by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appearing for Teesta, saying that he had a list of cases where the judge had given bail in a few days.
Tushar Mehta said that statements obtained under Section 164 prima facie showed conspiracy and that the motive behind the conspiracy is being investigated. He said that Teesta had collected eight crore rupees.
Kapil Sibal argued that the witness that the prosecution is relying upon is a former employee of Teesta who was fired. He said that the affidavits were filed in 2002-2003 and that nothing has happened in the last 20 years. "I am the number one enemy of the State" Sibal said.
Yesterday, the Solicitor General had argued that no special treatment should be made for Teesta since she had already elected to approach the High Court and the matter before the High Court is pending.
Teesta Seetalvad had moved the Supreme Court challenging the refusal of interim relief by the Gujarat High Court in the case filed against Teesta by Gujarat ATS alleging that she had been falsifying records in order to implicate high ranking officials in 2002 Gujarat Riot Case.
The matter was mentioned before the Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice N. V. Ramana for urgent listing. The Court agreed to list the matter.
Earlier, a sessions court in Ahmedabad had refused bail to Teesta Setalvad and former Director General of Police R B Sreekumar.
Teesta Seetalvad 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 Teesta Setalvad's 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.