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Court puts off order on Teesta, Sreekumar bail pleas to July 28

Source: PTI
July 26, 2022 19:03 IST
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A court in Ahmedabad on Tuesday deferred till Thursday its order on the bail pleas of activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP RB Sreekumar in a case of fabricating evidence to frame innocent persons in connection with the 2002 Gujarat communal riots.

IMAGE: Activist Teesta Setalvad being taken to Santacruz police station by the ATS Gujarat, Mumbai, June 25, 2022. Photograph: ANI Photo

The court of additional principal judge DD Thakkar was scheduled to pronounce the order on Tuesday but said he will do so on Thursday as the order was not ready yet.

The court had last week reserved its order after hearing arguments from the counsels appearing for Setalvad, Sreekumar and the prosecution.

 

Setalvad, and former Indian Police Service (IPS) officers Sreekumar and Sanjiv Bhatt, were arrested by the Ahmedabad crime branch last month under sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence) of the Indian Penal Code.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted to probe the case of fabrication of evidence, had told the court that Setalvad and Sreekumar were part of a "larger conspiracy" carried out at the behest of the late Congress leader Ahmed Patel to destabilise the then BJP government headed by chief minister Narendra Modi.

At Patel's behest, Setalvad had received Rs 30 lakh after post-Godhra riots in 2002, the SIT had alleged.

The SIT had told the court that Sreekumar was a "disgruntled government officer" who "abused the process for damning the elected representatives, bureaucracy and police administration of the whole state of Gujarat for ulterior purposes".

Both Setalvad and Sreekumar have denied the allegations made against them.

The First Information Report (FIR) was registered against Setalvad, Sreekumar, and Bhatt after the Supreme Court last month dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Her plea had alleged a "larger conspiracy" behind the post-Godhra riots.

On February 8, 2012, the SIT filed a closure report giving a clean chit to now Prime Minister Modi and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was ”no prosecutable evidence” against them.

The top court on June 24 this year upheld the SIT's clean chit to Modi and 63 others.

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