Millennium Post

SC directs not to arrest Setalvad in fund embezzlement case

The order came with a caveat that Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand would provide all required documents, vouchers and the list of donors to NGOs -- Sabrang Trust and Citizen for Justice and Peace and their failure to cooperate in the probe would give liberty to Gujarat police to seek cancellation of their bail.

"It is directed that the petitioners (Setalvad and her husband) will not be arrested in connection with the case," a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and Adarsh Kumar Goel said while reserving its judgement on their plea seeking anticipatory bail.

The bench further said that the interim order of stay on their arrest, which was earlier extended by a bench of justices S J Mukhopadhyaya and N V Ramana, would continue.

The hearing in the matter was taken away from the bench headed by Justice Mukhopadhya and Chief Justice of India H L Dattu and listed before a new bench headed by Justice Misra without assigning any reason.

"You can file an application before us for cancellation of bail if they don't cooperate," the bench said when senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for Gujarat government, said the matter should not be disposed of and be kept pending as there was no surety that the accused were going to cooperate in the investigation.

At the fag end of two-hour-long hearing, senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Setalvad and her husband, took the liberty to say that the Gujarat government should ask for documents instead of going for custodial interrogation.

However, his comment did not go down well with the bench which said, "Don't act smart Mr Sibal. You provide all the documents. You also provide the list of donors."

"I have never played smart with the judges in my 42-year long career," Sibal shot back, adding, "whatever documents they ask me, I will give them in one week."
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