Leftist Ecosystem Still Exists, CJI Opened Court On Saturday Night To Give Teesta Setalvad Bail, Will It Happen For Us: JNU Vice-Chancellor Asks
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit on Sunday wondered whether the Supreme Court would treat “us” equally, the way it did to grant relief to Teesta Setalvad on a Saturday night. The JNU VC was speaking at the launch of a book, Jagala Pokharnari Dawi Valvi (‘leftist ideology that hollowed the world’) authored by Abhijit Jog at Pune’s Symbiosis International University.
“The Leftist ecosystem still exists. You know, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court opened the court on a Saturday night to give Teesta Setalvad bail. Will it happen for us", she asked while speaking at the event, as per reports.
In an unprecedented hearing that started at around 9.25 pm on July 1, Saturday, a specially constituted three-judge Bench of the Apex Court had stayed the order of the Gujarat High Court which declined bail to Teesta Setalvad and ordered her to surrender immediately. The Bench of Justice BR Gavai, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice Dipankar Datta was constituted after the intervention of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud. Teesta was accused of fabrication of evidence to frame innocent people in the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Gujarat government referred to Teesta Setalvad as an "extraordinary citizen" and had asked the Court to only do what it does when an ordinary citizen whose bail is rejected approaches the Court. Mehta had said that an ordinary citizen who approaches the Court in appeal surrenders in compliance with the impugned order before challenging that order.
Thereafter, the Court granted Teesta regular bail to Teesta Setalvad, holding that since the charge sheet had been filed in the case, her custodial interrogation was not necessary.
The three-judge Bench was the second bench that the CJI constituted on Saturday, July 1 after a Bench of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra differed on granting interim protection and hence adjourned the matter to when the Court would have re-opened after summer vacation.
While rejecting her bail, the High Court had held that Teesta falsely implicated innocents in the riot-related cases and exploited the feelings of minorities.
During her speech, the JNU VC also said, "To retain political power, you need narrative power. We need to have it. Unless we attain it, we will be like a directionless ship". Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit is the first woman to hold the office of VC of JNU, appointed in February, 2022. Previously, Santishree served as a Professor of Political Science at the Savitribai Phule Pune University.