Gujarat court rejects Setalvad's discharge plea in alleged fabrication of evidence case

In her discharge application, Setalvad denied fabricating anyone's testimonies or forging such documents.
Last Updated : 20 July 2023, 13:38 IST

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A sessions court in Ahmedabad on Thursday rejected an application of Mumbai-based activist Teesta Setalvad seeking discharge from the trial of alleged fabrication of evidence in 2002 Godhra riots related cases.

Additional principal judge Ambalal R Patel rejected the application while holding that "prima facie" there was enough evidence against the accused to frame charges.

"Considering the material of the prosecution before me, I am of the clear opinion that the allegations leveled against the accused by the complaint and the material adduced to prove that allegation appears to be prima facie sufficient evidence to frame charges against the accused," Patel has stated in his order.

Setalvad, who aided the 2002 riots victims through her NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, was arrested last year after Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) filed an FIR against her, former DGP R B Sreekumar and jailed ex IPS Sanjiv Bhatt for allegedly fabricating evidence to ensure conviction in cases related to 2002 rioting. The FIR was filed based on observation by the Supreme Court.

The DCB has accused Setalvad to have received Rs 30 lakh from a senior congress leader Ahmed Patel and conspired with other co-accused to "propagate" larger conspiracy behind the riots and attempted to "destabilize" the then government.

In her discharge application, Setalvad denied fabricating anyone's testimonies or forging such documents. The order states that DCB submitted three chargesheet in 13 files consisting of 4489 pages before the court as part of evidence. These documents related to complaints filed in different police stations after post-Godhra riots by victims, witnesses, among others relevant reports.

Earlier, on Wednesday, the apex court had granted her regular bail in the same case while holding the order of a single bench judge of Gujarat high court, which denied her plea, as "perverse."

Published 20 July 2023, 11:44 IST

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