Teesta Setalvad won’t face arrest till February 19: Supreme Court

The Gujarat Police registered a criminal case against Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand

New Delhi: Social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband were on Friday granted protection from arrest for another six days by the Supreme Court in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Ahmedabad's Gulbarg Society that was devastated in the 2002 riots.

During a high-voltage hearing, the court first suggested to the couple to "surrender and seek regular bail" but later gave them protection from arrest till Feb 19.

There were a number of occasions during the 30-minute hearing when the bench put a number of questions to senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the couple, and later made clear that the "allegations" against them were "grave" and warned against bringing "politics" in the matter.

The Bench comprising Justices S J Mukhopadhaya and N V Ramana, which observed that it was not a case for "quashing of the FIR,", said it was not going to be moved by the names of persons and the matter would be treated like that of any ordinary citizen or individual.

"We will look into the allegations mainly on the basis of the FIR (against Setalvad and others). Let it be very clear, we will be looking at the case not by names but like the case of any ordinary individual," it said and concluded the hearing on a lighter note remarking that "there will be justice for both and relief for one".

The bench also made it clear that it would independently examine the basis of the FIR whether it is a case for granting anticipatory bail or not which has been denied to Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand.

The apex court was hearing the appeal filed by the Setalvad and her husband against the yesterday's judgement of the High Court by which their plea for anticipatory bail was rejected for not co-operating with the investigation.

( Source : dc )
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