The Gujarat High Court on Friday stayed till April 4 the arrest of social activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and son of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, Tanvir, in connection with the alleged fund embezzlement case involving the riot-ravaged Gulbarg Society.
Justice Anant Dave sent a notice to city Crime Branch while hearing the anticipatory bail application of Ms. Setalvad and others, and posted the matter for next hearing on April 4.
Ms. Setalvad, Mr. Anand, Mr. Tanvir, Gulbarg Society secretary Feroz Gulzar and chairman Salim Sandhi had on Thursday moved high court after a sessions court in Ahmedabad rejected their bail plea on March 25.
In his arguments before the high court, Ms. Setalvad’s counsel Dushyant Dave said the probe agency had falsely implicated Ms. Setalvad and others.
“Applicant’s accounts have been regularly audited by several monitoring agencies like charity commissioner, income tax commissioner,” Mr. Dave told the court.
“No query has come out during the audit, so on what basis the probe agency has been naming the applicants?” he asked.
While rejecting anticipatory bail to Ms. Setalvad and others, the sessions court judge had observed that a prima facie documentary evidence existed against the accused, which needs a thorough probe.
The crime branch had registered an FIR against Ms. Setalvad and others for allegedly usurping Rs. 1.51 crore collected by them for turning Gulbarg Society into a mausoleum.
“The fund was used for other purpose by using different credit cards and the donation amount was not even used for making a mausoleum,” the sessions court order had said.
Twelve residents of Gulbarg Society had demanded Rs. 1.51 crore from Ms. Setalvad last year, alleging that money collected in their name was never distributed.
Ms. Setalvad and Mr. Anand have also sought quashing of an FIR registered against them before the Bombay high court on which the order was kept reserved on March 26.
68 people, including former MP Ehsan Zafri, were killed by a mob at Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad on February 28, 2002, when communal riots were at peak in the State in the aftermath of Godhra incident.