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Supreme Court terms extending protection to Teesta Setalvad as ‘mistake’

The Supreme Court on Monday termed as “mistake” its earlier order extending interim protection from arrest granted toTeesta Setalvad and her husband, indicating that the relief was granted by a two-judge bench earlier instead of three.

“Earlier, it was a mistake,” a bench comprising justices A R Dave and Adarsh Kumar Goel observed when senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the activist, said the protection against arrest was expiring on October 15 and moreover, last time this two-judge bench had itself extended the relief.

“It is a three-judge bench matter… place it before the appropriate bench,” the court said and asked Sibal to mention it before the Chief Justice for making available the special bench to extend the relief.

“I do not want to lose the protection,” Sibal said. The relief was granted to the activist couple in a case of alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg Society that was devastated in the 2002 riots.

Meanwhile, the counsel for Gujarat police sought adjournment on the hearing of its plea seeking a direction to Teesta for supplying certain documents, which was allowed.

The court, on September 11, had extended by four weeks the interim protection from arrest granted to Teesta Setalvad and her husband in the case. Sibal had then mentioned the issue on behalf of the couple, saying the interim order was expiring on September 15.

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