While granting the bail, the court asked Teesta Setalvad to “render complete cooperation with the investigation”.
New Delhi: Days after she was picked up, activist Teesta Setalvad was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court of India in the 2002 Gujarat riots case. Setalvad, an activist, is accused of drafting false statements of witnesses and submitting them before the Nanavati commission which was set up to investigate the riots.
While granting the bail, the court asked Setalvad to “render complete cooperation with the investigation”. It also asked Setalvad to surrender her passport till the regular bail matter is considered by the high court.
Kapil Sibal, who represented Setalvad, said, the FIR against is nothing but “recitation of the proceedings which ended with the judgment of the Supreme Court on June 24”. Sibal said Setalvad has been in custody for over two months and is entitled to interim bail during pendency of the substantive application pending before the high court.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing Gujarat government, said there is sufficient material apart from what has been adverted in the FIR pointing towards Setalvad’s involvement. Mehta added that the application preferred by Setalvad is presently pending consideration before the high court.
After having heard both the sides, the Supreme Court said, “The essential ingredients of the investigation, including custodial interrogation, having been completed, the matter assume a complexion where the relief of interim bail till the matter was considered by the high court was evidently made out.”
“In our view, the appellant is entitled to release on interim bail. It must be stated that as argued by Solicitor General the matter is still pending consideration before high court. We are therefore not considering whether appellant be released on bail or not. That issue is to be considered by the high court. We are considering only from the standpoint whether the custody of the appellant must be insisted upon during the consideration of matter,” the bench added.
On June 25, the Gujarat Police’s Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) detained activist Teesta Setalvad in Mumbai in the afternoon and reportedly took her to the Santacruz police station. Setalvad’s lawyer Vijay Hiremath had said, “We were not informed. They barged into (her house), assaulted her and took her away.” He added that the police have applied charges under Sections 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the IPC.
The development had come hours after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in an interview, accused Setalvad of giving out baseless information about the 2002 Gujarat riots to the police.