Supreme Court extends interim bail to Teesta Setalvad, husband

The Supreme Court on Thursday extended the interim bail granted to advocate-activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, while referring to a larger bench the question of personal liberty and requirement of effective investigation, including custodial interrogation.

hidden March 19, 2015 18:32:48 IST
Supreme Court extends interim bail to Teesta Setalvad, husband

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday extended the interim bail granted to advocate-activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, while referring to a larger bench the question of personal liberty and requirement of effective investigation, including custodial interrogation.

Supreme Court extends interim bail to Teesta Setalvad husband

Social activist Teesta Setalvad. AFP

The bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the "question that arises for consideration is whether liberty on the one hand, and fair and effective investigation on the other make out a case for extending the benefit (of anticipatory bail) under Section 438 CrPC."

Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provides for anticipatory bail to an alleged accused apprehending arrest.

The court said the main issue was whether Setalvad and her husband should be taken into custody for interrogation by benumbing and comatosing their liberty by asking them to face custodial interrogation.

Referring the matter to a larger bench, the court said: "As we are referring the matter to a larger bench, the interim order passed on February 19, 2015, shall remain in force till the larger bench takes up the matter."

Pointing to the "value of liberty, the concept of regulated freedom, the societal restriction, the supremacy of the law, the concept of anticipatory bail", the court referred to a claim by Gujarat Police that Setalvad and her husband were not cooperating in the investigation and were contesting it. The court said, "We think it appropriate that the matter should be heard by a larger bench."

Setalvad has been accused of misuse of funds collected by NGO Sabrang Trust for setting up a museum in Gulberg Society that witnessed carnage during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The apex court on February 19 restrained Gujarat Police from arresting the activist and her husband.

A man named Ferozkhan Saeedkhan Pathan has filed a complaint with Gujarat Police alleging that Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace, managed by trustees Setalvad and her husband, had collected funds to set up a museum at Gulberg Society and had asked the residents not to sell their property in the society with the assurance that the trustees would arrange funds for the same.

The complainant alleged that they neither built the museum nor spent the amount for the benefit of the members of the society, nor did they fulfil the assurance made to the victims regarding the sale of their properties but expended on themselves.

The offences were registered under Sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 72(A) of the Information and Technology Act, 2000, providing for penalty for breach of confidentiality and privacy.

IANS

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