Apex court extends protection to Teesta, hubby till March 18

Apex court extends protection to Teesta, hubby till March 18

The Supreme Court on Thursday extended the protection granted to social activists Teesta Setalvad and her husband from arrest till March 18, while directing them to cooperate in the probe in two criminal cases of alleged embezzlement of funds and the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice A R Dave gave two weeks time to Teesta and her husband Javed Anand to supply all the required documents sought by the the Gujarat Police and the CBI.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the CBI and senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, representing the Gujarat police, contended that the couple have not cooperated despite the letter sent to them on April 11, 2015. They contended that the couple were not special accused and the matter relating to their anticipatory bail plea has been pending for about a year.

On their submission, the bench also comprising Justices F M I Kalifullah and V Gopala Gowda said, “We will pass an appropriate order giving time for supply of documents and if the order is not complied with, we can even vacate our order (granting anticipatory bail).”

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the couple, refuted the charge of non-cooperation. Sibal also cited the Income Tax Act provisions under which the investigators could not ask for documents for a long period of 2004 to 2016, and at best they can go for documents of last eight years.

The bench, however, told him, “They may be having books of account. You can say on affidavit that under the statute, you are not required to examine records of particular duration.”

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