Gujarat resident seeks early hearing of cases involving Teesta Setalvad in SC, writes to CJI

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Published: August 29, 2019 3:00:33 PM

Pathan has mentioned criminal cases of alleged embezzlement of funds and violations of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) lodged against Setalvad and her husband by the Gujarat Police and the CBI respectively.

Gujarat, Gujarat resident, Teesta, Teesta Setalvad, CJI, SCIn the letter, he mentioned the issues reported about the management of cases by the apex court registry. (Reuters)

A Gujarat resident has sought intervention of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi for early hearing of criminal cases, pending for four years in the Supreme Court, involving social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband. Raiskhan Azizkhan Pathan, a former close aid of Setalvad who worked in her NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has written a letter to Justice Gogoi drawing his attention to the two cases involving her and said they have not been listed for hearing after the lapse of four years.

Pathan has mentioned criminal cases of alleged embezzlement of funds and violations of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) lodged against Setalvad and her husband by the Gujarat Police and the CBI respectively. These matters had reached the apex court in 2015. He also referred to another case in which a different NGO, Subrang Trust, run by them, received funds from the HRD Ministry allegedly fraudulently and came up for hearing in the apex court in March this year. This matter was tagged with the embezzlement case.

These cases are related to the anticipatory bail of the couple. “Please look into the matter as to why the first cases (alleged fund embezzlement and FCRA violation) after the lapse of four years could not be listed for hearing and why the second case is also not coming on board,” Pathan wrote in the August 11 letter to the Chief Justice of India. Pathan, who had worked with Setalvad for the victims of the 2002 riots in Gujarat but later parted ways with her, claimed that he was the worst sufferer because of her activities.

In the letter, he mentioned the issues reported about the management of cases by the apex court registry. “Numerous cases of management in registry of the Supreme Court are coming up in the public domain where your good self has also taken a serious note of it. I am the worst sufferer in the hands of this lady Teesta Setalvad who is very powerful…,” Pathan wrote to the CJI.

In 2015, Setalvad had filed appeal against the Gujarat High Court order by which anticipatory bail of her and her husband in the alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg Society, destroyed in the 2002 riots, was rejected. The CBI also in the same year sought cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to her by the Bombay High Court in the case of purported violations of the FCRA in connection with the utilisation of funds received from Ford Foundation by Sabrang Communications and Publishing Pvt Ltd, run by the couple.

Both the cases were being heard together by the apex court, which on March 11 this year tagged another case with them in which FIR was registered on March 31, 2018 against the couple for allegedly securing central government funds worth Rs 1.4 crore “fraudulently” for their NGO Sabrang trust between 2010 and 2013. In the 2018 case, the Gujarat government challenged the protection from arrest granted to them by the High Court.

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