Embezzlement case: Supreme Case stays arrest for Teesta Setalvad till tomorrow

In a temporary relief to activist Teesta Setalvad, the Supreme Court has restrained the police from arresting her till tomorrow.

FP Staff February 12, 2015 19:41:58 IST
Embezzlement case: Supreme Case stays arrest for Teesta Setalvad till tomorrow

In a temporary relief to activist Teesta Setalvad, the Supreme Court on Thursday restrained the police from arresting her till Friday, news channels reported.

However, on what grounds the SC stayed her arrest was not yet known.

Embezzlement case Supreme Case stays arrest for Teesta Setalvad till tomorrow

Teesta Setalvad in a file photo. AFP

Setalvad has been accused of embezzlement of funds meant for the 2002 Gujarat riot victims.

The order comes in the backdrop of Gujarat Police officials landing up at Setalvad's Mumbai residence after a bench of the Gujarat High Court  rejected her plea for anticipatory bail in a case where she and four others are accused of embezzling funds meant for victims of the Gulbarg Housing Society that was attacked during the 2002 Gujarat communal riots.

Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand, slain MP Ehsan Jafri's son Tanvir, the Gulbarg Society's secretary Feroz Gulzar and chairman Salim Sandhi had earlier filed an anticipatory bail plea before the high court in the alleged fund embezzlement case of Rs 1.51 crore.

The activist was not present at home when the police team reached her Mumbai residence, and some reports said that she had left town due to a family event. Setalvad is expected to appeal the court order.

Setalvad and the others accused in the case have termed the Ahmedabad crime branch's allegations as "baseless" and said it was a malicious bid to arrest them. They had earlier sought bail from the high court as the city sessions court had rejected their plea in March 2014.

The city crime branch, in January 2014, had registered an FIR against Setalvad and others for allegedly usurping Rs 1.51 crore collected by them in the form of donations with the objective of turning Gulbarg Society into a mausoleum.

The issue had surfaced when 12 residents of Gulbarg society demanded Rs 1.51 crore from Setalvad last year, alleging that the money collected in their name had never been distributed. They also said that they had been asked not to sell their homes since Setalvad's NGO would be acquiring the land for a memorial.

Setalvad and Anand have also sought the quashing of an FIR registered against them before the Bombay High Court.

On 28 February, 2002, following the Sabarmati train burning incident, 68 people including former MP Ehsan Jafri were killed by a mob at Gulbarg Society during the riots.

Setalvad had been at the forefront of the cases filed by 2002 riot victims and was a vocal critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The editor of Communalism Combat, Setalvad has been assisting the wife of Ehsan Jafri in her legal battle in which it has been alleged Modi allowed the riots to continue. However, the court has found no evidence of their allegations so far. Setalvad was also involved in the Best Bakery case connected with the 2002 riots.

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