Friday, June 21, 2024

Gujarat HC rejects Teesta Setalvad’s bail plea, asks her to ‘surrender immediately’

The Gujarat High Court on Saturday directed human-rights activist Teesta Setalvad to “surrender immediately” after rejecting her regular bail application, The Indian Express reported.

Setalvad, known for her legal aid work after the Gujarat genocide in 2002, is facing allegations of fabricating evidence. Her prosecution came a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition by her challenging a report by a special investigative team that absolved Narendra Modi of involvement in the riots.

Setalvad was protected from arrest so far by way of interim bail that had been granted by the Supreme Court in September 2022, following which she was released from judicial custody in this case.

The Mumbai based activist was reportedly charged with Section 468 of IPC (forgery for purpose of cheating), Sec. 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), Sec. 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence), Sec. 211 (false charge of offence made with intent to injure), Sec 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture) and Sec. 120 (conspiracy).

Justice Nirzar Desai also rejected Setalvad’s request to stay the operation of the verdict for a period of 30 days.

The charge sheet filed by the SIT alleges that Setalvad and co-accused former IPS R B Sreekumar tried to implicate “then chief minister (and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and higher officials of the state government and top leaders of the BJP” for the large-scale deaths due to the 2002 communal riots “with death sentence”, and hatched “a conspiracy” to institute a “false case with false evidence”.

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