In a temporary relief for social activist Teesta Setalvad, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed her arrest in connection with the Gulbarg Society fund embezzlement case till February 19.
The apex court passed its order in response to Setalvad’s interim bail plea and deferred the hearing till February 19.
The honourable apex court also stayed the arrest of all other accused in the case till further hearing.
The SC had on Thursday stayed Setalvad’s arrest hours after the Gujarat High Court rejected the anticipatory bail petitions filed by the social activist, her husband Javed Anand, Tanvir Jafri (whose father Ehsan Jafri, former Congress MP, was killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots) and Firoz Gulzar, a resident of Gulbarg Society here, in the case.
They all are accused of misusing funds to the tune of Rs 1.51 crore and face arrest.
A team of Gujarat police even went to Setalwad’s residence following the Gujarat HC verdict yesterday.
At the last hearing at the HC, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, who appeared for the prosecution, had put before the court the statements of Setalwad’s former accountant Rais Khan who accused her and others of misusing the funds meant for the families of Gulbarg Society riot victims.
Setalwad, who has been espousing the cause of the victims of 2002 Gujarat riots, and others, have contended that the case was filed against them with political motives and they had not misused the funds.
On March 25, last year, the sessions court had rejected their pre-arrest bail applications.
The Crime Branch had registered a first information report in January 2014 against Setalvad and others for allegedly usurping the money collected by them for building a riots museum at the Society. The plan to build a museum was cancelled later.
Twelve residents of the Society had alleged that Setalvad embezzled the funds.
Sixty-nine people, including Ehsan Jafri, were killed in a mob’s attack on the society on February 28, 2002, following the Godhra train burning incident.