Teesta Setalvad files bail plea, court seeks Gujarat govt’s reply

Ahmedabad: A sessions court here on Wednesday issued a notice to the Gujarat government while hearing regular bail plea filed by activist Teesta Setalvad, who is one of the two persons arrested by Ahmedabad crime branch recently on the charge of conspiring to falsely implicate innocent persons in connection with the 2002 communal riots.

While admitting her plea for regular bail, additional sessions judge D D Thakkar issued a notice to the state government seeking its reply, and kept further hearing in the matter on July 8.

The judge also issued a notice to the government while hearing the regular bail plea of the second accused in the case, R B Sreekumar, former Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP), who had filed his plea on Tuesday. The court kept the further hearing also on July 8.

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In their pleas, both Setalvad and Sreekumar have claimed that no case is made out against them under the sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) citing which they were arrested.

Both of them were sent to judicial custody by a magistrate on July 2 after completion of their police remand.

A day after the Supreme Court upheld the clean chit given by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots cases, the city crime branch on June 25 arrested Sreekumar from Gandhinagar.

Setalvad was detained in Mumbai in connection with the case that day and was placed under arrest under similar charges the next day by the Ahmedabad crime branch.

Sreekumar was Additional Director General of Police (Armed unit) during the 2002 Godhra train burning incident. He was later posted as the ADGP, Intelligence.

The FIR was filed against Sreekumar, Setalvad, and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, who is already behind bars in another case, soon after the apex court dismissed a petition challenging the clean chit given by the SIT to Modi and others in the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases.

The trio is accused of abusing the process of law by conspiring to fabricate evidence in an attempt to frame innocent people for an offence punishable with capital punishment in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.

They were booked under sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (forgery), 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence), 211 (institute criminal proceedings to cause injury), 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save a person from punishment or property from forfeiture), and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC.

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