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Gujarat court rejects Teesta Setalvad's plea

Friday May 27, 2011 11:11:49 PM, IANS

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Gandhinagar: The Gujarat High Court Friday turned down the plea to quash the first information report against Mumbai based social activist Teesta Setalvad.

Justice G.B. Shah, however, quashed the summons against her in connection with the 2006 Panderwada mass grave digging case.

Setalvad, general secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace, through her counsel Kamini Jaiswal sought that the court reject the FIR on the ground that she was not present at the site of digging and that the government was acting with mala fide intentions against her.

Jaiswal argued that the summons and the report against her client were "motivated", claiming that it was intended to "stop her from helping the victims of 2002 riots in their legal battle".

Government pleader P.K. Jani contended that sanitary inspector of the Lunawada municipality had earlier described the circumstances leading to the "official burial" of 28 bodies of riot victims on the banks of Panam river outside Lunawada town because the bodies were "unclaimed".

Later, some persons claiming to be relatives of those who were buried had dug up the mass graves without any permission. These allegedly included Rais Khan Pathan and others, Jani said.

Setalvad was granted anticipatory bail in the case by a local court Feb 15, 2011, but it was opposed by her co-accused, including Rais Khan Pathan, Ghulam Kharadi and others. They testified before the magistrate that they had dug up the mass graves at her behest.

Charges against Setalvad included fabricating false evidence, causing disappearance of evidence, criminal conspiracy, hurting religious feelings, trespass into burial place and some other.




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