On Thursday, a sessions court in Ahmedabad reserved its orders in a bail application moved by activist Teesta Setalvad and former Director General of Police RB Sreekumar. Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested on June 26 for allegedly committing forgery and fabricating evidence in a case related to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
“All parties have completed their arguments,” advocate Vijay Hiremath, one of the lawyers involved in the case, told Scroll.in. “Now, the order has been reserved and it will be passed either on Tuesday or Wednesday.”
The state government had opposed the bail application on Wednesday. In an affidavit filed on July 15, the Gujarat Police alleged that Setalvad was part of a larger conspiracy along with Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt to destabilise the elected state government after the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
This conspiracy, the police claimed, was planned at the behest of Ahmed Patel, a former Congress MP.
Both Setalvad and Sreekumar have contested this allegation. Setalvad has claimed that the charges levied against her were not backed by evidence and not maintainable under law. Sreekumar has also claimed that no offence was made out against him under the Indian Penal Code. Their bail pleas are pending before the court of Additional Sessions Judge DD Thakkar.
Setalvad and Sreekumar’s arrest
On June 24, the Supreme Court had dismissed a petition where Zakia Jafri, the wife of politician Ehsan Jafri, and Setalvad had challenged the clean chit given to Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s chief minister then, and other officials. While dismissing the petition, the court noted that certain people had filed the petition “to keep the pot boiling for ulterior design”. It said that these people must be “in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law”.
A day after the judgment, Setalvad and Sreekumar were booked by the Gujarat Police’s Anti-Terrorism Squad. The first information report filed against them quoted heavily from the Supreme Court judgment.