The Gujarat Special Investigation Team (SIT) has filed a charge sheet against activist Teesta Setalvad, retired DGP RB Sreekumar, and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in the case of the alleged fabrication of evidence pertaining to the 2002 Gujarat riots, according to The Indian Express.
The charge sheet was filed on Tuesday, 20 September, in an Ahmedabad court, Deputy Inspector General of Police Deepan Bhadran, who heads the SIT and the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), told the publication.
While Sreekumar was arrested on 25 June, Setalvad was picked up by the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad from her home in Mumbai on 26 June. Human rights organisations and activists had condemned the move, calling for her release.
Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, meanwhile, is serving a life sentence in a custodial death case at a jail at Palanpur in Banaskantha district.
The Supreme Court, on 2 September, granted Setalvad interim bail in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots conspiracy case, a day after the top court came down heavily on the Gujarat government.
The charge sheet was reportedly filed under Sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 468 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record), 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence), 211 (false charge of offence made with intent to injure), and 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture) of the Indian Penal Code.
What Is the Case Against Them?
Setalvad, Sreekumar, and Bhatt are accused of abusing the process of law by conspiring to fabricate the evidence in an attempt to frame innocent people for an offence punishable with capital punishment in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The case is based on a complaint filed by Darshansinh B Barad, police inspector, Detection of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad City. The complaint cites the Supreme Court's judgment rejecting Zakia Jafri's plea challenging the SIT probe in the Gujarat riots case.
The Gujarat government had formed a three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Gujarat ATS DIG Deepan Bhadran to investigate the case.
(With inputs from PTI and The Indian Express.)