A bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit, Justice S. A Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia ordered Setalvad to deposit his passport in the trial court till the Gujarat High Court decides the bail case .
The high court also asked Setalvad to cooperate with the agency concerned in the probe into allegations of fabricating evidence to implicate people in the riot cases.
As reported by Live Law, CJI UU Lalit said, “It is a matter of record that the appellant was remanded in police custody for about seven days and was interrogated every day by the investigative machinery concerned “.
In view of the matter on Thursday, the apex court had indicated that it would grant interim bail to Setalvad. He had also raised five points before the Gujarat government, which did not mention any offense against the activist’s bail.
According to Live Law, the court has said, “We have dealt with the matter only from the point of view of interim bail and it shall not be presumed that we have expressed anything on the merits of the contentions raised by the petitioner.” The High Court will consider the whole matter independently on its merits and will not be affected by any observations made by this Court.
The Supreme Court said that the other accused in the case cannot rely on this decision of the court for bail.
Advocate Kapil Sibal, who appeared for Setalvad, argued that the facts stated in the FIR against him were a repetition of the proceedings, which culminated in the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision on the plea of Zakia Jafri. He argued that the crime alleged in Setalvad is not clear.
Sibal said the testimony against Setalvad was given by his former employee, whom he had fired. He argued that since several courts have convicted people in riot cases in 2002 on the basis of affidavits that the social worker (Setalvad) helped compile (of the affidavit), it is not a question of tampering with tests
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Gujarat government, argued that the bail application is sub-judicial before the Gujarat High Court and should be allowed to be considered by the court.
According to Live Law, he said that the FIR contains sufficient material, apart from the details, to point towards Setalvad’s involvement in the alleged crime.
Ex-Gujarat cop RB Sreekumar and Sanjeev Bhatt are also accused in the FIR registered against Setalvad.
FIR against Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt Zakia challenging the clean chit given by the Supreme Court on June 24 to former Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and several other senior officials of the Gujarat administration by the Special Investigation Team ( SIT) in the 2002 riots case. A day after Jafri’s plea was rejected (June 25), it was registered.
Earlier, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe the case had alleged in its affidavits that Setalvad and Sreekumar were working with the Congress to destabilize the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat. was part of a larger conspiracy at the behest of Ahmed Patel.
The FIR quoted a portion of the Supreme Court’s decision, in which the apex court said, “It appears to us that a concerted effort by the disgruntled officials of the state of Gujarat and others to create sensation by making the revelations which were false .to their own knowledge.Indeed, everyone involved in this abuse of process should be put in the dock and proceed according to law.
In the FIR, the trio (Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt) have been accused of conspiring to abuse the process of law by fabricating false evidence to implicate several persons in an offense punishable with death.
Setalvad’s NGO supported Zakia Jafri during this legal battle. Jafri’s husband Ehsan Jafri, who was also a Congress MP, was killed during the Gulbarg Society massacre riots in Ahmedabad.
Setalvad and his NGO were co-petitioners along with Zakia Jafri in the petition filed in the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others.
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Categories: Special from India