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FIR Against Teesta Setalvad Based on Complaint Citing SC's Zakia Jafri Judgment

The FIR also names former IPS officer Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt and ex-Gujarat DGP RB Shreekumar as accused in the case.

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An FIR was filed naming activist-journalist Teesta Setalvad on Saturday, 25 June, at Gujarat’s DCB police station under Sections 468, 471, 194, 211, 218 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

  • 468 IPC: Forgery for purpose of cheating

  • 471 IPC: Using as genuine a forged document or electronic record

  • 194 IPC: Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence

  • 211 IPC: False charge of offence made with intent to injure

  • 218 IPC: Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfei­ture

  • 120 B IPC: Punishment of criminal conspiracy

The FIR also names former IPS officer Sanjiv Rajendra Bhatt and former Gujarat DGP RB Shreekumar as accused in the case, and 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 from Friday in Zakia Jafri's plea challenging the SIT probe in the Gujarat riots case.

Officials from the Gujarat Crime Branch detained activist-journalist Teesta Setalvad on Saturday, 25 June, hours after Home Minister Amit Shah said in an interview that her NGO had spread "baseless" information regarding the 2002 Gujarat riots. She has now been taken to Ahmedabad. Shreekumar has also been detained in the case.

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WHAT DOES THE COMPLAINT SAY?

The Supreme Court had rejected Jafri's petition, which was filed along with Setalvad, and went on to say:

“At the end of the day, it appears to us that a coalesced effort of the disgruntled officials of the State of Gujarat alongwith others was to create sensation by making revelations which were false to their own knowledge. The falsity of their claims had been fully exposed by the SIT after a thorough investigation. Intriguingly, the present proceedings have been pursued for last 16 years (from submission of complaint dated 8.6.2006 running into 67 pages and then by filing protest petition dated 15.4.2013 running into 514 pages) including with the audacity to question the integrity of every functionary involved in the process of exposing the devious stratagem adopted (to borrow the submission of learned counsel for the SIT), to keep the pot boiling, obviously, for ulterior design. As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process, need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law.”

The complainant quoted the above-mentioned paragraph from the Supreme Court judgment and also went on to cast a series of allegations against the three accused in the case, including that Setalvad "conjured, coated, forged and fabricated facts and documents and or evidence" and influenced and tutored witnesses.

The complaint further alleges:

"The scrutiny of the material forwarded by the Government of Gujarat establishes that (with) certain vested interests, individuals and organisations including Sanjiv Bhatt, different NGOs, some political leaders and organisations were hatching a criminal conspiracy to use various forums such as the Supreme Court and the SIT for settling their scores and achieving an unlawful objective of implicating innocent individuals in offences punishable with life."

Further, the complainant sought for the FIR to be registered in the context of:

  • Material provided by him and other materials

  • Supreme Court judgment in the Zakia Jafri case 'referred above in general and paragraph quoted in partial"

  • Independent grounds

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