SC Grants Interim Bail to Teesta Setalvad in 2002 Gujarat Riots Case


Khushi Bajpai

Published on: September 3, 2022 at 20:31 IST

Teesta Setalvad, a social activist who has been detained since June 25 over allegations that she fabricated papers to file lawsuits related to the riots in Gujarat in 2002, was granted interim relief by the Supreme Court. She has been asked to give up her passport while the Gujarat High Court considers the case.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, her attorney, argued that the relevant court could only take financial security since local sureties might not step forward for her.

A bench made up of Chief Justice UU Lalit, Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that Teesta, a woman, has been detained for two months and that the investigation has benefitted from detention-based questioning for a week. The bench further highlighted that the offences against Teesta were allegedly committed in 2002, and that at most, 2012 was the deadline for presenting the relevant documentation.

Consequently, it was of the opinion that after the investigation’s key components, including the in-custody questioning, were finished, the situation adopted a complexion where the case for temporary bail was clearly made out.

“In our view, the appellant is entitled to the release on interim bail. It must be stated that as argued by solicitors general the matter is still pending consideration before high court. We are therefore not soliciting whether appellant released on bail or not.”

“That issue is to be considered by the high court. We are considering only from the standpoint whether the custody of the appellant must be insisted upon during the consideration of matter.”

“We have considered the matter only from the standpoint of interim bail and we shall not be taken to have expressed anything on the merits of the submission advanced on behalf of the appellant.”

“The entire matter on merits shall be considered by the high court independently and uninfluenced by any observation made by this court.”

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