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Supreme Court Issues Notice in Teesta Setalvad's Bail Plea, Hearing on Thursday

The case, incidentally, was filed in the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court's dismissal of Zakia Jafri's plea.

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The Supreme Court on Monday, 22 August, issued notice in journalist-activist Teesta Setalvad's plea seeking bail, in a case registered by Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad. The ATS has alleged falsification of records by Setalvad in a bid to implicate high state functionaries in the 2002 Gujarat riots conspiracy case.

"Considering the facts and circumstances of the case on record, let notice be made returnable on Thursday (25 August)," the court said in its order, granting liberty to serve standing counsel for state.

The court, in their order issuing notice, also noted:

"It is submitted that the allegations in the FIR are pure recitation of the proceedings which had happened and culminated in the (Zakia Jafri) judgment of this court, and beyond the recitation nothing has been alleged against the petitioner. It is further submitted that the petitioner was taken in custody on 25.6.2022 and since then has been in custody."

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What Else Happened in the Supreme Court?

Before hearing the plea, Justice UU Lalit, who was heading the apex court bench, informed Setalvad's counsel: "I had represented few of my accused in the Sohrabuddin murder matter. I must inform you that.. Not sure this matter has anything to do with it. “

As a lawyer, UU Lalit had represented the incumbent Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, when he was an accused in the alleged extrajudicial murders of gangsters Sohrabuddin Shaikh and Tulsiram Prajapati.

“As far as we are concerned, there's no problem,” Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal (representing Sevalvad), said. The court thereby recorded Sibal’s submission.

Other judges on this bench are Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

Background

The case, incidentally, was registered in the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court's dismissal of the plea filed by slain former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri's wife Zakia Jafri, which had challenged the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe in the Gujarat riots case.

Not only did the top court, in their 24 June order, uphold SIT’s clean chit to Prime Minister (and former Gujarat CM) Narendra Modi and several others, but they also cast aspersions about there being a “coalesced effort” and “devious stratagem adopted to keep the pot boiling” for “ulterior design.”

The next morning, Home Minister Amit Shah alleged in an interview that Setalvad's NGO had spread "baseless" information regarding the 2002 Gujarat riots, and within hours she was detained and subsequently arrested.

Find key background information on the case here.

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