A city sessions court adjourned the hearing of anticipatory bail plea filed by activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and three others in the alleged embezzlement of funds till March 11.
The investigating officer filed a 27-page affidavit requesting the court asking not to grant anticipatory bail to the accused as they may obstruct the investigation which is at a crucial stage.
Along with Setalvad, her husband Anand and three others have been booked by Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) in the alleged case of embezzlement of funds meant for converting Gulberg society into a “Museum of Resistance.” The society had witnessed rioting in 2002 in which 69 persons were burnt to death by the rioters.
Defending Setalvad and others, her lawyer told the court that the accused persons are well-known citizens and there is no need for their arrest. He argued that Setalvad is Padma Shri recipient, which he was given for her works in the public interest. They contended that the case is politically motivated and there is no truth in the allegation.
While arguing that the accused persons are needed custodial interrogation, special public prosecutor Ajay Choksi said that investigation is yet not completed. The investigating officer filed a detailed affidavit related to the case on which argument will be heard on next Tuesday.
In the affidavit name of Raiskhan Pathan also crops up, from whom the DCB has obtained some CDs which are said to be crucial. Pathan, a former aide of Setalvad, had filed a defamation case against her. Pathan used to work with Setalvad’s NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace as Gujarat coordinator in assisting riot victims.
In the last hearing, the accused persons had raised objection against appointment of advocate Manisha Lavkumar Shah as special public prosecutor in this case by saying that she had represented Pathan. The accused alleged Pathan of having a nexus with the complainant.
In the affidavit, the DCB has also annexed order of the Bombay High Court as well as the Supreme Court where Setalvad moved for anticipatory bail. Both the courts granted her interim relief.