No mercy for Teesta Setalvad: Gujarat High Court drops the hammer

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The Gujarat High Court has turned down social activist Teesta Setalvad’s plea for regular bail and ordered her to surrender without delay in connection to a case that accuses her of allegedly manipulating evidence in the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases.

The court’s decision comes as Teesta Setalvad is presently on interim bail granted by the Supreme Court.

Teesta Setalvad and her co-accused, former Director General of Police R B Sreekumar, were arrested by Gujarat police in June last year. After their police remand ended, they were placed in judicial custody on July 2. Teesta Setalvad was released from jail in September 2022, thanks to the relief granted by the Supreme Court.

Teesta Setalvad's bail plea denied, ordered to surrender in evidence tampering case

Teesta Setalvad’s bail plea denied, ordered to surrender in evidence tampering case. Photo courtesy of Syed Shiyaz Mirza/Wikimedia Commons.

The case against Setalvad, Sreekumar, and incarcerated former IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt was initiated after the Supreme Court rejected a petition challenging the exoneration granted by a special investigation team to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases. The three accused stand charged with conspiring to fabricate evidence and falsely implicate innocent people in a crime that carries the death penalty.

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In dismissing Zakia Jafri’s petition, whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots, the Supreme Court remarked that there seemed to be a concerted effort by disgruntled officials in Gujarat and others to cause a sensation by disclosing falsehoods. The court emphasized that all those who abused the legal process in such a manner “need to be in the dock and proceed in accordance with law.”

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