The Supreme Court on Monday granted temporary relief to activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds and extended the interim transit anticipatory bail from May 2 to May 31, granted by the Bombay High Court. The apex court, however, asked them to approach a competent court in Gujarat for further relief as the FIR in the matter was registered by Gujarat police.
A case was filed against Setalvad and her husband on the basis of a complaint lodged by her former associate Raees Khan Pathan, who alleged that central funds, granted for educational purposes, were misused. On January 20, the Ahmedabad police filed an FIR in the matter under sections 403 (dishonest misappropriation of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) of the Indian Penal Code.
On Monday, a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph, M Shantanagoudar and Navin Sinha recorded the submission of senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani and said the activist couple would not be arrested till May end and they could move the Gujarat court, which would decide the matter on the “basis of merit.”
The bench, however, turned down the couple’s plea that they be given liberty to approach an “appropriate forum” for further relief and not the Gujarat court, claiming that the FIR had been falsely registered in the state with an intention to harass them.