SC relief for Teesta Setalvad on Fund Embezzlement Case

New Delhi: In a significant relief to civil rights activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the Gujarat HC’s 2019 order
granting anticipatory bail to them in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds meant for Gujarat riot victims. The top court in its order made absolute its earlier decision granting protection from arrest to Setalvad in connection with the case. A three-judge SC bench, headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and also comprising Justices Sudhanshu Dhulia and Prashant
Kumar Mishra, passed the order to make the interim bail absolute. The court remarked that significant time had passed in the matter and no chargesheet had been filed. It directed the couple
to cooperate with the investigating agency in the case. The apex judiciary noted that nothing survived in the matter, given that she had been granted bail by courts on connected issues. Senior
Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for Setalvad. Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju, appeared for the Gujarat government. The SC was hearing Setalvad’s anticipatory bail plea
in connection with the case of alleged misappropriation of funds collected for building a “Museum of Resistance” at the Gulbarg Housing Society in Ahmedabad,
where over 60 persons were killed during the communal riots of 2002. The earlier stay on her arrest has since continued, as the matter is yet to be disposed of. The same was made permanent
in the order passed during the day. Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand had approached the Supreme Court after the Gujarat High Court denied their pre-arrest bail applications in the case. ASG Raju argued before the court that there was non-cooperation. Protection is continuing, but it’s not that such protection can be enjoyed without any fetters. The case of
alleged misappropriation of funds was registered by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch on a complaint accusing Setalvad and Anand of “fraudulently” securing grants of Rs 1.4 crore from the union government through their NGO Sabrang Trust between 2008 and 2013.

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