The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Gujarat Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation why they want to send social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand back in jail after they have been out on bail for more than seven years, reported PTI.

A bench of Justices SK Kaul, AS Oka and BV Nagarathna were hearing a batch of pleas filed by Setalvad, Anand, the Gujarat police and the Central Bureau of Investigation, in connection to three first information reports lodged against the couple over alleged embezzlement of funds raised for victims of 2002 Gujarat riots.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal and Advocate Aparna Bhat, appearing for Setalvad and Anand, told the court that the cases against them have been pending for eight years. The court has granted anticipatory bail and a regular bail to Setalvad and Anand in separate cases, while the investigating agencies are yet to file chargesheet, said Sibal, reported Live Law.

“Question is how long can you keep someone in custody,” the court said. “Seven years have passed since anticipatory bail was granted. You want to send her back to custody.”

The Central Bureau of Investigation and the Gujarat Police sought four weeks time to place additional material before the court with regard to the pending matters.

FIRs against Setalvad and Anand

In 2014, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch had registered an FIR on charges of cheating, breach of trust and under the Information Technology Act in a matter related to the construction of the Museum of Resistance in the city’s Gulberg Housing Society, reported PTI.

During the 2002 Gujarat riots, a mob had killed 69 persons at Gulberg Society on February 28, 2002, throwing stones and setting fire to homes. Former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri had also been killed in the attack.

Setalvad and Anand, trustees of two non-profits – Citizens for Justice and Peace and Sabrang Trust – were accused of having raised a crores of rupees as donation, but not using the money to build the museum or provide aid to residents of the Gulberg Society.

The second FIR against the couple pertains to alleged misuse of foreign funds which is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The central agency alleged that a company founded by the couple – Sabrang Communication and Publishing – had received Rs 1.8 crore from US-based Ford Foundation allegedly without mandatory approval from the central government.

The third FIR was filed against Setalvad and Anand for illegally securing Rs 1.4 crore as central government funds for Sabrang Trust between 2010 and 2013.