Activist Teesta Setalvad walks out of jail

Activist Teesta Setalvad walked out of a prison in Ahmedabad, a day after the Supreme Court granted her interim bail in a case of allegedly fabricating evidence related to the 2002 Gujarat riots

Photo: Nafees Mujahid
Photo: Nafees Mujahid
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NH Web Desk

Activist Teesta Setalvad walked out of a prison in Ahmedabad on Saturday, a day after the Supreme Court granted her interim bail in a case of allegedly fabricating evidence related to the 2002 Gujarat riots.

She had been lodged in the Sabarmati Central Jail here since her arrest on June 26.

Photo: Sanghrita
Photo: Sanghrita
Photo: Sanghrita

As per the SC order, she was produced before sessions judge V A Rana for bail formalities.

"The sessions court imposed two conditions over and above the conditions imposed by the apex court. The sessions court asked the accused to furnish a personal bond of Rs 25,000 and not to leave India without its prior permission," special public prosecutor Amit Patel said.


In its Friday order, the apex court had said Setalvad shall be produced before the lower court which will release her on interim bail subject to such conditions as it may deem fit. The top court had on Thursday wanted to know the reason for the delayed listing of Setalvad's bail plea by the Gujarat High Court, wondering whether "this lady has been made an exception".

Setalvad and co-accused and former Director General of Police R B Sreekumar were taken into custody by Gujarat police on June 25 and a court sent them in judicial custody on July 2 after their police remand ended.

The Ahmedabad crime branch registered a First Information Report against Setalvad, Sreekumar and jailed former IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging the clean chit given by a special investigation team to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and others in the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases.

Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt were accused of abusing the process of law by conspiring to fabricate evidence and frame innocent people for an offence punishable with capital punishment.

While dismissing the petition filed by Zakia Jafri whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots, the SC had observed that "it appears to us that a coalesced effort of the disgruntled officials of the State of Gujarat along with others was to create sensation by making revelations which were false to their own knowledge." All those involved in such abuse of process "need to be in the dock and proceed in accordance with law," the supreme court had said.

Setalvad and other two were subsequently booked under Indian Penal Code sections 468, 471 (forgery), 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence), 211 (institute criminal proceedings to cause injury), 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture), and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy).

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