The Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned the CBI and the Gujarat government as to why they want to send social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand back in jail after they have been out for over seven years on anticipatory bail, according to Indian Express.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Abhay S Oka and BV Nagarathna said, “Question is how long can you keep someone in custody? Seven years have passed since anticipatory bail was granted. You want to send her back to custody.”
Advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the CBI and the Gujarat government said some additional material needed to be placed before the court with regard to the cases and, therefore, four weeks may be given.
Appearing for the noted activist, senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Aparna Bhat said in one of the proceedings in which the CBI has come in appeal, anticipatory bail was granted following which a charge sheet was filed and after that regular bail was granted to her, noted the news agency. He said since a regular bail was granted, the appeal of the probe agency against anticipatory bail does not survive.
The prosecution said that are more than one case against Setalvad and her husband, requesting the court to grant him four weeks to place material on record. Advocate Nair said: “A bench of two judges has referred this matter to a larger bench and has framed questions which need to be decided by this court.” The bench posted the matter for further hearing after four weeks. The top court was hearing a batch of pleas filed by Setalvad, Anand, the Gujarat police and the CBI arising out of three FIRs lodged against the couple.
Pathan alleged the couple neither built the museum as promised nor spent the amount for the benefit of the members of the Gulbarg Society nor did they fulfil the assurance made to the victims regarding the sale of their properties. In the second case, the CBI has moved the apex court against the grant of anticipatory bail to Setalvad and her husband in a case where they have been accused of misusing foreign funds.
The probe agency has alleged that a company floated by the couple-Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Ltd (SCPPL)- had received Rs 1.8 crore from US-based Ford Foundation allegedly without the mandatory approval of the Centre.
(With PTI inputs)