Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

Gulberg fund embezzlement: HC stays Teesta Setalvad’s arrest till April 4

Social activist Teesta Setalvad. (Express Archives) Social activist Teesta Setalvad. (Express Archives)
Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Posted: March 28, 2014 3:55 pm | Updated: March 28, 2014 4:31 pm

Acting on anticipatory bail petitions of social activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and three others, the Gujarat High Court, on Friday, issued notice to Ahmedabad city detection of crime branch and posted it for further hearing on April 4. Till then, the court has stayed their arrest.

Setalvad and others are accused of misusing the funds collected for gujarat riots victims and using it for personal needs. Setalvad is also accused of promising the Gulberg society massacre victims to build a museum at the massacre site that was never built.

Justice Anant Dave sent a notice to city Crime Branch while hearing the anticipatory bail application of Setalvad and others, and posted the matter for next hearing on April 4. The five are facing charges of breach of trust, cheating and conspiracy.

Setalvad and others are accused of misusing the funds collected for gujarat riots victims and using it for personal needs. Setalvad is also accused of promising the Gulberg society massacre victims to build a museum at the massacre site that was never built.

Setalvad, Anand, Tanvir, Gulbarg Society secretary Feroz Gulzar and chairman Salim Sandhi had yesterday moved the high court after a sessions court here rejected their bail plea on March 25.

In his arguments before the high court, Setalvad’s counsel Dushyant Dave said the probe agency had falsely implicated Setalvad and others.

“Applicant’s accounts have been regularly audited by several monitoring agencies like charity commissioner, income tax commissioner,” Dave told the court. “No query has come out during the audit, so on what basis the probe agency have been naming the applicants,” he said.

While rejecting anticipatory bail to Setalvad and others, the sessions court judge had observed that a prima facie documentary evidence existed against the accused, which needs a thorough probe.

The crime branch had registered an FIR against Setalvad and others for allegedly usurping Rs 1.51 crore collected by them for turning Gulbarg Society into a mausoleum.

“The fund was used for other purpose by using different credit cards and the donation amount was not even used for making a mausoleum,” the sessions court order had said.

Twelve residents of Gulbarg Society had demanded Rs 1.51 crore from Setalvad last year, alleging that money collected in their name was never distributed.

Setalvad and Anand have also sought quashing of an FIR registered against them before the Bombay high court on which the order was kept reserved on March 26.

Notaby, 68 people, including former MP Ehsan Zafri, were killed by a mob at Gulbarg Society here on February 28, 2002 when communal riots were at peak in the state in the aftermath of Godhra incident.

 

(with PTI inputs)

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