Mumbai/Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court Thursday rejected the bail plea of renowned social activist Teesta Setalvad in a criminal case of misappropriation of trust funds collected on behalf of riot victims. Following this, the Mumbai based activist famous for her tirade against the then Modi-led state government fot its involvement in the anti-Muslim Gujarat riot, is facing arrest.
[Teesta Setalvad (Left) with Zakia Jafri, widow of Ehsan Jaferi in a file photo.]
Justice Pardiwala said that since the accused were not co-operating properly in the investigation and because it prima facie appears that the funds were used for private purpose, the accused persons cannot be armoured with full-fledged anticipatory bail.
The case pertains to an FIR registered by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch last January, which alleges Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand, Zakia Jafri's son Tanvir Jafri and two others of usurping Rs 1.51 crore meant for the construction of a memorial for the riot-ravaged Gulbarg Society victims.
Ahmedabad crime branch had already started searching for her. They have contacted Mumbai crime branch to locate her.
Teesta was not at her Mumbai residence.
Teesta's lawyers refused to divulge her exact location soon after the court rejected her pre-arrest bail plea. But it was clear that she was unlikely to remain in Mumbai where her house is. She was likely to leave the city if she hadn't left already said sources.
The HC had earlier granted Teesta interim protection against arrest which it vacated on Thursday. The Bombay high court had earlier said it lacked the territorial jurisdiction to hear her plea wheh she first moved the HC in Mumbai last year.
Teesta and her husband Javed Anand had moved the Bombay HC to quash the FIR in the misappropriation case against them. The Bombay HC had asked them to approach the court in Gujarat.