Activist Teesta Setalvad walked out of a Gujarat jail on the evening of Saturday, 3 September, a day after she was granted interim bail by the Supreme Court, in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots conspiracy case.
Setalvad, who had been lodged in the Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad since her arrest on 26 June, was produced before Sessions Judge VA Rana for bail formalities.
"The sessions court imposed two conditions over and above the conditions imposed by the apex court. The sessions court asked the accused to furnish a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and not to leave India without its prior permission," special public prosecutor Amit Patel said.
What Had the Supreme Court Said?
While granting interim bail to Setalvad, the Supreme Court said that "the entire matter, on merits, shall be considered by the high court, independently or uninfluenced by any of the observations made by this court."
"We are only considering from the standpoint whether during the consideration of the application, the custody must be insisted upon or whether she be granted the relief of interim bail," the court had added.
The court, on a request by the additional solicitor general appearing for the state, had further said that its decision was not to have bearing on the pleas of Setalvad's co-accused.
"It is further meant here that the relief of interim bail is granted to the appellant in the peculiar facts including that the appellant is a lady. This shall not be taken to be a reflection and shall not be used by the other accused as and when such occasion arises. The submissions on behalf of the other accused should be considered on their own merits," it noted.
On Thursday, a bench led by Chief Justice UU Lalit said that none of the offences that Setalvad was charged with could bar her from getting bail.
"There is no offence in this case which comes with a rider that bail cannot be granted like UAPA, POTA. These are normal IPC offences. These are not bodily offences, these are offences of documents filed in court," the bench had said, as per Live Law.
It also said that in such cases, after the initial period of police custody, nothing should stop investigators from continuing their probe without custody, adding that as per the law, a woman is entitled to favourable treatment.
Setalvad had challenged the Gujarat High Court's rejection of her interim bail in connection with the case, in which she was arrested for allegedly fabricating evidence to frame "innocent people" in the 2002 Gujarat riots case.