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Court reserves order on Teesta, husband’s bail plea

Teesta Setalvad

A local court on tuesday concluded the hearing and reserved its order on social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand’s
Teesta Setalvad

Ahmedabad: A local court on tuesday concluded the hearing and reserved its order on social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand’s anticipatory bail pleas in connection with the Gulbarg society fund embezzlement case.

Ahmedabad city sessions court judge H C Vora reserved the order which is likely to be pronounced on March 25.

Opposing the bail plea, special public prosecutor Ajay Choksi told the court that Setalvad had allegedly used the foreign funds for personal use.

“She (Setalvad) has spent a good amount of funds on grocery items, to watch cinema or even to take beauty-parlour services,” Choksi told the court.

“Lakhs of rupees from the fund were deducted from her NGOs’ accounts,” he further said while arguing that the funds were meant for the riot-victims.

He also said that the applicant spent a good amount of these funds to purchase wine at an airport shop.

“They claim that they have approximately spent Rs two crore behind the legal expenditure, while in the scrutiny it has come out that only Rs 2 lakh have been spent,” he informed the court.

The prosecutor also said that Setalvad was unnecessarily dragging Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s name in the riots case and that she had been betraying Muslims.

Setalvad’s counsel contended that the prosecution agency went beyond its scope of investigation as it is charity commissioner’s duty to look into it.

“If the state is so sensitive for the Muslims, then it would have not let ‘2002’ happen,” advocate S M Vora, representing Setalvad, said.

He also argued that the prosecution could not show any evidence about irregularities.

On prosecution’s earlier argument that Setalvad was playing with the courts, Vora contended that her family background is such that she cannot do such a thing.

“Her father was a noted advocate of Bombay High Court and her grandfather was the Advocate General,” he said.

“She helped the riot victims and that was appreciated by international human rights commissions,” he told the court, adding that the appreciation motivated people to donate for a cause and 70 per cent funds came from abroad.

“That was the reason that after 2007 the NGOs were enriched with foreign funds,” he said.

Earlier, the prosecution said that Setalvad’s NGOs had negligible funds in 2007 but till February their accounts had been flourishing with crores of rupees.

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.

On 28 February, 2002, following the Godhra train carnage, 68 people including former MP Ehsan Jafri were killed by a mob at Gulbarg Society here.


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