The Supreme Court Tuesday said that social activist Teesta Setalvad and her NGOs would have to disclose the source of money in order to buttress their argument for defreezing the bank accounts. These bank accounts were frozen by Ahmedabad police in 2015 in the wake of FIRs relating to misappropriation of money and fraud.
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“Whose money is this? From where did the money in these bank accounts have come? What is the source?” a bench led by Justice Dipak Misra asked the counsel for Setalvad.
Aparna Bhat, appearing for Setalvad, responded that several donors have donated the money for various purposes. She further requested that at least Setalvad’s personal bank account be released but the court said that it would await a formal response from the Gujarat police.
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat, told the bench that some time was needed to file detailed reply on the issue. The bench then posted the matter for further hearing on April 18.
On November 9 last year, the apex court had fixed the pleas of Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and her two controversial NGOs challenging the freezing of their accounts for final hearing.
Teesta, her husband and two NGOs — Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace — had approached the apex court challenging the October 7, 2015 verdict of the Gujarat High Court rejecting their pleas for defreezing their personal bank accounts.
One of the residents of Gulberg Society, Firoz Khan Pathan, had filed a complaint against Setalvad and others alleging that money was raised to make a museum at Gulberg Society in the memory of 69 people killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots, but it had not been utilised for the purpose.
The freezing of the accounts by Ahmedabad Police had come soon after its Crime Branch had started probing a case inwhich Setalvad and others were accused of embezzling Rs 1.51 crore collected to convert Gulberg Society into a museum.