Social activist Teesta Setalvad on Monday failed to get any relief from the Supreme Court in the Pandarwada grave digging case in which she and her husband Javed Anand are accused of being part of the illegal exhumation of bodies of the 2002 Gujarat riots victims.
A bench, comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Amitava Roy, said it would not be necessary to adjudicate on merits the plea filed by her against the Gujarat High Court order refusing to quash the FIR lodged against her at a police station in Panchmahal district, PTI reported. “When chargesheet is there, can’t you go and raise all these questions before the trial court,” the bench asked senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Setalvad.
“It is not necessary to adjudicate the matter on merits,” the bench said while disposing of Setalvad’s appeal against the high court order while giving her the liberty to approach the trial court.
Kapil Sibal said though the chargesheet has been filed, no offence has been made out against Setalvad in the case. Earlier, the Gujarat government, in its affidavit, had justified its probe against Setalvad in the case saying she had planned and executed the digging of about 28 bodies of victims from graveyards without any permission in Pandarwada and surrounding villages in Khanpur taluk.
The government had said the other accused have claimed innocence and blamed her for instigating others to carry out the exhumation, which is a penal offence.
It had said the exhumation of bodies without permission of the concerned authorities constituted an offence under sections 192 (fabricating false evidence), 193 (punishment for false evidence, 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 120-B criminal conspiracy), 295(A) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings) and 297 (trespassing on burial places) of the IPC.
(Inputs from PTI)