The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted regular bail to activist Teesta Setalvad in a case linked to the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases. Teesta Setalvad was arrested for allegedly fabricating the evidence to “frame innocent people” in the post-Godhra riots cases.
During the hearing, the Supreme Court bench said a charge sheet has been filed in the case against Teesta Setalvad, adding that her custodial interrogation is not necessary.
A three-judge bench of Justices B R Gavai, A S Bopanna and Dipankar Datta set aside the order of the Gujarat High Court rejecting her plea for regular bail.
“The passport of the appellant already surrendered will be in custody of session court. The appellant shall not make any attempt to influence witnesses and shall stay away from them,” the bench said.
The bench additionally provided the Gujarat Police with the freedom to approach the highest court directly in case any effort is made to tamper with witnesses involved in the case.
Teesta Setalvad was taken into custody on June 25 last year along with former Gujarat Director General of Police RB Sreekumar and ex-IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in a case registered by the Ahmedabad crime branch police for allegedly fabricating evidence to frame innocent people in the post-Godhra riots cases.
On July 30, 2022, the bail applications of Setalvad and Sreekumar were dismissed by an Ahmedabad sessions court. The court’s decision was based on the premise that granting their release would convey a message to wrongdoers that making baseless allegations carries no consequences and allows them to escape accountability.
The High Court had on August 3, 2022, issued a notice to the state government on the bail plea of Setalvad and fixed the matter for hearing on September 19. Meanwhile, she moved the Supreme Court (SC) for interim bail after the high court refused to consider her plea.
The apex court, on September 2 last year, granted her interim bail and asked her to surrender her passport with the trial court till the time the Gujarat High Court decided her regular bail plea.
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