Millennium Post

Supreme Court directs not to arrest Setalvad in fund embezzlement case

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the arrest of social activist Teesta Setalvad arrest was till Friday when her bail plea comes before it in the case involving alleged embezzlement of Gulberg Society fund. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India, HL Dattu passed the order after former union minister and advocate Kapil Sibal argued that the ‘mighty’ Gujarat police is hell bent on arresting her.

Dattu’s directive came hours after the Gujarat High Court rejected the anticipatory bail petitions filed by Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand, Tanvir Jafri (whose father Ehsan Jafri, former Congress MP, was killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots) and Firoz Gulzar, a resident of Gulberg Society here, in the case. The apex court will hear their interim bail plea on Friday.

A team of police reached Teesta’s Mumbai’s house after the Gujarat High Court turned down her anticipatory bail plea. They are accused of misusing funds to the tune of Rs 1.51 crore meant for the families of Gulberg Society riot victims in 2002. There was a plan to build a museum in their memory, which was cancelled later.

Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, who appeared for the prosecution, had put forward statements of Setalvad’s former accountant Rais Khan who claimed that she along with others misused funds. In January 2014, the crime branch had registered a first information report against her and others for allegedly usurping the money meant for riot victims. Twelve residents of the Society had alleged that Setalvad embezzled the funds and lodged complaint.

During the 2002 Gujarat riots in Ahmedabad, 67 people, including Ehsan Jafri, were killed in a mob attack on the society. The incident took place on February 28, 2002, following the Godhra train burning incident. Setalvad in a statement has denied any misuse of funds and alleged that move against her was politically motivated.
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