SC extends stay on arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad, refers to larger bench

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TEESTA SETALVAD
File photo: Teesta Setalvad

In the case of alleged embezzlement of funds meant for the victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots, Supreme Court extended protection to civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand from arrest by Gujarat police. The interim order providing protection from arrest to Ms Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand shall be extended till a larger bench takes up the matter, the court said.

 The Supreme Court referred to a larger bench the petition filed by Teesta Setalvad and her husband seeking anticipatory bail in the case of alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg Society that was devastated in the 2002 riots.

 Referring the matter to a larger bench, a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Adarsh Kumar Goel said the matter in hand raises several issues pertaining to concept of liberty in view of the offences enumerated in the case.The bench also said that among the issues that needed to be discussed included supremacy of law, value of liberty, concept of regulated liberty, anticipatory bail and issue of non-cooperation during investigation by the accused.

 The duo have been charged of cheating, breach of trust and under the Income Tax Act for alleged misuse of money meant for a Musuem of Resistance at the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad, where 69 people, including Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, were killed during the 2002 riots. The police allege that Setalvad raised 9.75 crore between 2008 and 2012 through her NGO and used 3.75 crore for personal expenses.

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