2002 riots case: Gujarat court denies bail to activist Teesta Setalvad, former DGP R B Sreekumar
A city sessions court here on Saturday rejected the bail applications filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP R B Sreekumar in connection with charges of fabricating evidence of conspiracy for the 2002 riots and of trying to falsely implicate innocent persons including the then chief minister Narendra Modi.
Refusing bail to Setalvad and Sreekumar, additional sessions judge D D Thakkar said, “…if the applicants-accused are enlarged on bail then it would impliedly encourage to the wrongdoers that in-spite of doing such type of accusations against the then C.M. and others, the Court has lightly enlarged the accused on bail. Therefore, looking to the above facts and circumstance, even though the applicant is being a lady and another is retired IPS officer and aged person, they are not required to be enlarged on bail.”
Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested on June 25, immediately after registration of an FIR by the city crime branch. This happened a day after the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Zakia Jafri seeking action against Modi and others accusing them of hatching a larger conspiracy behind the post-Godhra riots. The SC observed that certain people had tried to kept the pot boiling by dragging the litigation and they should be put in dock.
After registration of FIR, the state government constituted a special investigation team (SIT), which filed affidavits to oppose the bail applications by Setalvad and Sreekumar. The SIT claimed that Setalvad and Sreekumar along with another former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt had conspired to fabricate evidence to falsely implicate innocent people. It cited two witnesses to claim that Setalvad had accepted Rs 30 lakh fund form the then Congress MP of Rajya Sabha, Ahmed Patel. It also claimed that Setalvad had political ambitions, while the two cops were disgruntled. Setalvad and Sreekumar denied all the charges.