The Bombay High Court on Friday granted transit anticipatory bail to social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand on a complaint lodged against them in Ahmedabad for alleged embezzlement of funds.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar today granted Teesta and Anand relief from arrest for four weeks.
Since the court granted them transit bail, the duo will now have to approach the Gujarat High Court and seek anticipatory bail again as the case is registered there.
One of the riot victims from Gulbarg housing society, which was burnt during the 2002 post Godhra riots, had lodged a complaint with the Ahmedabad police against Teesta, Anand and the NGOs run by them – Citizens for Justice and Peace and Sabrang Trust alleging misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 1.51 crores by them.
According to the complaint, the accused persons had allegedly collected funds in the name of converting part of the Gulbarg society into a museum and had allegedly misappropriated funds worth Rs 1.51 crores.
Teesta and Anand’s advocate Arshad Shaikh said that even though the case was registered in Ahmedabad, they could get anticipatory bail from Bombay High Court as there are judgements of the Supreme Court which say that a person can get relief from the High Court in the state where they reside, for a case registered in another state.
According to Teesta and Anand, they have been implicated in the case and are victims of political vendetta. They claim that they are being targeted by the perpetrators of the riots.
In 2006, the social activists decided to build a museum – Museum of Resistance – at the remains of the Gulbarg society. Accordingly in 2009, a part of the plot was sold to Sabrang trust.
However, in 2012, the idea of the museum was dropped as the prices escalated. The same was communicated to the society.
But, according to the complaint filed against Teesta, funds were collected by her despite the idea being dropped.