The Gujarat Government on Tuesday accused social activist couple Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand of giving false information and misleading the courts. The Government made these allegations while opposing the couple's plea in the Bombay High Court seeking de-freezing of bank accounts and quashing of FIR (First Information Report) against it in the Gulberg society scam complaint.
The government said it was in the process of investigating if the couple had misused the "absolute powers" vested in it for retaining and using the trust funds.
"We have submitted an affidavit showing the trail of Rs Seven crore collected from the people between 2009 and 2012 in the name of rehabilitation of the Gulberg society riots victims. We have shown how fraud was committed and the money was used for herself (Ms Setalvad), for her family, for investing in Fixed Deposits, and for making credit card payments," advocate Girish Kulkarni representing Gujarat government, told The Hindu.
The court on Tuesday posted the matter for hearing on March 20.
The 21-page affidavit has accused Ms Setalvad and Mr Anand of "deliberately and intentionally" concealing facts from one court about the reliefs sought from the other courts.
The Gujarat government has given the details of at least six bank accounts of the trust run by the activist couple, and the expenditure made from there. It has claimed that Ms Setalvad collected huge funds from 2007 especially from foreign countries in the name of helping the Gulberg society riot victims. "But since the last 10 years, no financial support has been given to them," the affidavit has claimed.
It has alleged that Sabrang Trust is a family trust which has been specially created for receiving foreign funds. "Substantial amount of money withdrawn from the accounts of Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace have been diverted to the personal accounts of Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, and further invested in Fixed Deposits, shares and mutual funds," it stated.
It said that the NGO, instead of coming clean with the records, was avoiding any investigation by the authorities in Gujarat.
It has further accused the couple of lying to the courts. "It is clear that the petitioners have filed multiple petitions in different courts and were repeatedly lying/ concealing the material facts from the courts to secure favourable orders. This conduct of the petitioners also speaks volumes about their style of functioning which requires special attention of this honourable court," it stated.
It claimed that the couple had hidden from the Gujarat trial court that the Bombay High Court had refused to entertain their anticipatory bail plea in the case on the grounds of territorial jurisdiction.
In 2013, Firozkhan Saidkhan Pathan, a resident of Gulberg society, had filed a complaint against the couple alleging that it had collected funds in the name of rehabilitation of the victims and construction of 'Gulberg Society Museum of Resistance', but not helped any of them.