SC stays Teesta Setalvad's arrest till February 19

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:22 pm IST

Published - February 13, 2015 01:41 pm IST - New Delhi

Teesta Setalvad.

Teesta Setalvad.

The Supreme Court on Friday extended its stay on the arrest of activist Teesta Setalvad in the Gulbarg society embezzlement case funds, even as her counsel Kapil Sibal tried to convince the court that there are very few people out there like her who can take on the might of the State.

The Bench led by Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya ordered the continuation of the stay till February 19, the next date of hearing on her plea for anticipatory bail against arrest.

The Gujarat High Court had dismissed her plea on Thursday, following which she urgently moved the supreme court. The supreme court had stayed the arrest till the matter was heard today.

The bench said it will consider her plea for anticipatory bail "independently" and asked Mr. Sibal to not convert this into a political issue.

"We will not go by any name, we will consider this like any other anticipatory bail plea. On the next date, rest assured we will give justice for both (Teesta's side and the State of Gujarat), but there will be relief for only one of you," Justice Mukhopadhaya said.

Starting his arguments, Mr. Sibal read out the allegations against Teesta and her husband, Javed Anand.

He said the Gujarat police claims to have found evidence that she enticed foreign donors to contribute in heavily by showing the photographs of the 2002 post-Godhra riot victims.

"We provided the investigating agencies and the high court with 1500 pages of documents on every entry made by us. If one of these entries is wrong or false, I am prepared to go in. But the high court did not even refer to these documents before dismissing my bail plea . Why did not these so-called 'wealthy foreigners' lodge any complaints against us?" Mr. Sibal submitted.

He said "we stand here before Your Lordships with the passion of our convictions. Don't allow the mighty State to destroy us. This court is our last resort."

Mr. Sibal said how the police had reached Teesta's residence at 2.30 pm, even before the high court dismissed her bail plea at 4 pm. "If this is the case, none of us are safe anymore," Mr. Sibbal said.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta for Gujarat government said the evidence found against Teesta was "shocking" and revealed "foreign travels, branded clothes."

Concluding the hearing, the bench gave both parties liberty to file additional documents.

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