Jaising Leads Protest Against Setalvad's 'Victimisation'

New Delhi
Jaising Leads Protest Against Setalvad's 'Victimisation'

Activist lawyer Indira Jaising today protested against the "victimisation" of social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband in alleged fund embezzlement case lodged by the Gujarat police by terming it as a case of "political vendetta".

Jaising, along with a group of eminent people including scribes and academicians, came out in support of the duo, who have been working for the riots victims of 2002, and said there has been a "pattern" in such type of FIRs and cops were insisting on a custodial interrogation to "humiliate" them.

A statement issued by Jaising and others in support of the activists said, "while the Narendra Modi-led government has launched a fresh investigation in the 1984 riots, the persisting spirit of vendetta against an effort to enforce legal and moral accountability for the Gujarat riots was shocking".

Setalvad and her husband were on February 13 granted protection from arrest for six days by the Supreme Court which will hear their plea for anticipatory bail on February 19.

However, the apex court had noted that the allegations against them were "grave" and it was also not a case of quashing the FIR.

Jaising, who was not arguing the matter was present in the courtroom and had made certain comments to the dislike of the apex court.

The case relates to alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Ahmedabad's Gulbarg Society that was devastated in the 2002 riots.

Jaising, who was Additional Solicitor General in the previous UPA government, said the victimisation against them started from 2010.

"Every time she gets a favourable order from the court, there is hyperactivity on the part of Gujarat police to lodge an FIR," the former ASG said at a press conference here.

Jaising said, "The issue is why they want to make an arrest and why was the Gujarat police at her doorsteps within minutes of the judgement being delivered? It's a big question mark."

She was referring to the February 12 verdict of the Bombay High Court by which their anticipatory bail plea was rejected.

Journalist and National Integration Council member, John Dayal, alleged that the FIR against her follows a "certain pattern" and the police was insisting on a custodial interrogation of the activists to humiliate them.

When questioned if she would intend to get the very prosecution quashed by Supreme Court citing frivolous and criminal intent, Jaising said Setalvad only wanted to make it clear that she was not running away from any investigation.

"She is saying you can investigate whatever you want because I am very clear about my accounts," she elaborated.

The group, which came in support of the activist couple, also issued a statement raising "serious doubts about the bona fide of the complainants" in the case.

The Supreme Court on Friday had passed an order protecting Setalvad and her husband from arrest till February 19 in connection with a fund embezzlement case, while noting that allegations against them were "grave".

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