2002 gujarat riots

Did Teesta Setalvad buy liquor with money meant for Gujarat riot victims?

On Tuesday, a court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Teesta Setalvad and others in the Gulberg Society Museum case. The Gujarat police have alleged that Setalvad used organisation funds for wining and dining. She responds.

An Ahmedabad sessions court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and others who have been accused of embezzling funds raised to build a museum to riot victims in Ahmedabad's Gulberg Society, where 69 people were killed during the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Setalvad and Anand  plan to appeal the Gujarat High Court, even as the Bombay High Court has reserved its judgment on their anticipatory bail plea. Scroll.in recently investigated the details of the case. Here are some of the charges that the Gujarat Police levelled against them in more recent affidavits, with Setalvad's responses to them.

Ahmedabad Police: Setalvad and Anand transferred Rs 14.2 lakhs from the bank account of their NGO, Citizens for Justice and Peace, to clear their credit card expenses across five years between August 2009 and March 2014. The credit cards were used to buy wine, movie tickets and grocery items, thus showing that they used donor money meant for Gujarat riot victims for personal amusement.

Setalvad and Anand:  Since the organisations that Setalvad and Anand work for do not have their own credit cards, the activists use their personal cards to book air and train tickets for work-related travel. This has been done with the consent of the trustees and auditors of the organisation. These work-related expenses were reimbursed after verifying them.

They have also used their personal credit cards to buy wine, books, shoes, medicines, suitcases, haircuts and restaurant meals, "paid from their independent personal incomes", Setalvad said. However, the Gujarat police "have deliberately manipulated credit card details from the personal accounts of both...[to claim that these were] expenses incurred by them from public money".

She also noted, “Since we live in the State of Maharashtra, and not Gujarat, there is nothing shocking on expenses on wine purchases, grocery, etc” paid for from their personal salaries. Gujarat is the only Indian state with prohibition.

The Rs 14.2 lakhs spread across a period of almost five years works out to an average of Rs 25,000 per month. Given that their work requires them to travel frequently between Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and New Delhi, this is a reasonable figure.

Ahmedabad Police: Lakhs of rupees were transferred from the NGO's account to the personal accounts of Setalvad and Anand and even their daughter Tamara, for several years.

Setalvad and Anand:  It's their monthly salary, Rs 48,000 each. Their daughter  received Rs 7,500 per month for her work in documenting and disseminating information.

Ahmedabad Police: They run several institutions from the same office but show different office expenses for each institution.

Setalvad and Anand: The offices of Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace and one more organisation operated from the same premises. The three organisations had three different and separate office spaces within the same area, different office equipments and staff, "both administrative and technical/project staff”. Hence the separate office expenses.

Ahmedabad Police: Setalvad has not submitted any corroboratory documents to the court along with her affidavit, and that her affidavits were mere diversionary tactics. Setalvad and Anand did not cooperate with the investigation and their anticipatory bail plea should be rejected so they could be interrogated in custody.

Setalvad and Anand: We've given the police all the documents they asked for.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Some of the most significant innovations in automotive history made their debut in this iconic automobile

The latest version features India's first BS VI norms-compliant engine and a host of 'intelligent' features.

The S-Class, also known as Sonderklasse or special class, represents Mercedes Benz’ top-of-the-line sedan line up. Over the decades, this line of luxury vehicles has brought significant automotive technologies to the mainstream, with several firsts to its credit and has often been called the best car in the world. It’s in the S-Class that the first electronic ESP and ABS anti-lock braking system made their debut in the 20th century.

Twenty first-century driver assistance technologies which predict driver-behaviour and the vehicle’s course in order to take preventive safety measures are also now a staple of the S-Class. In the latest 2018 S-Class, the S 350 d, a 360-degree network of cameras, radars and other sensors communicate with each other for an ‘intelligent’ driving experience.

The new S-Class systems are built on Mercedes Benz’s cutting-edge radar-based driving assistance features, and also make use of map and navigation data to calculate driving behaviour. In cities and on other crowded roads, the Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC helps maintain the distance between car and the vehicle in front during speeds of up to 210 kmph. In the same speed range, Active Steering Assist helps the driver stay in the centre of the lane on stretches of straight road and on slight bends. Blind Spot Assist, meanwhile, makes up for human limitations by indicating vehicles present in the blind spot during a lane change. The new S-Class also communicates with other cars equipped with the Car-to-X communication system about dicey road conditions and low visibility due to fog, rain, accidents etc. en route.

The new S-Class can even automatically engage the emergency system when the driver is unable to raise an alarm. Active Emergency Stop Assist brings the car to a stop if it detects sustained periods of inactivity from the driver when Active Steering Assist is switched on. If the driver doesn’t respond to repeated visual and audible prompts, it automatically activates the emergency call system and unlocks the car to provide access to first responders.

The new Mercedes-Benz S 350 d in India features another notable innovation – the country’s first BS VI norms-compliant car engine, in accordance with government regulations to control vehicular pollution. Debuting two years before the BS VI deadline of 2020, the S 350 d engine also remains compatible with the current BS IV fuels.

The S 350 d is an intelligent car made in India, for Indian roads - in the Mercedes Benz S-Class tradition. See the video below to know what drives the S-Class series by Mercedes Benz.

To know more about the 2018 S-Class, click here.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Mercedes Benz and not by the Scroll editorial team.