The Bombay High Court on Friday granted interim bail to social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand for three weeks while acting on an anticipatory bail application jointly moved by the two before the court in connection with a recent criminal case of cheating and breach of trust registered against them by Ahmedabad City Detection of Crime Branch (DCB).
A bench comprising Justice Mridula Bhatkar passed an order in this regard, said Setalvad.
In their application, the two have contended that they have been framed in the case by Gujarat Police with mala fide intention because of the consistent legal support provided by their organisation, Citizens for Justice and Peace, to the victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots. They also contended that the criminal case was an attempt by DCB to intimidate human rights activists. Setalvad also contended that this was the fifth case registered against her in Gujarat because of her support to the riots victims. In their petition, the two have also contended that the FIR was the latest effort of intimidation by the “powerful forces in Gujarat who wish(ed) to stymie the appeal in the Zakia Jafri case”.
Although, the case against them is registered in Gujarat, the duo have demanded anticipatory bail from the Bombay High Court on the ground that since they live in Mumbai the court has jurisdiction over the issue.
The FIR has been registered against Setalvad, Anand and three others by DCB officials while acting on a complaint lodged by one Feroz Saeedkhan Pathan who used to live in Gulberg Society during 2002 riots. The three other accused booked in the FIR include Tanvir Jafri, son of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed in the Gulberg Society Massacre, Salim Sandhi and Feroz Gulzar Mohammed Pathan.