Thursday, May 26, 2011


HC reserves order on Teesta’s petition

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat high court on Wednesday completed hearing on the petition filed by activist Teesta Setalvad seeking quashing of the FIR in connection with exhuming dead bodies at the Pandarwada mass grave in 2005. Justice G B Shah has kept his order pending till Friday. 

    After the bodies were exhumed by the then coordinator of Citizens for Justice and Peace, Rais Khan along with some local residents, the authorities of Lunawada Municipality filed a complaint against seven persons. Khan and couple of others were arrested in this case earlier this year after the high court vacated the stay on investigation.

    During their custodial interrogation, Setalvad’s name was revealed and Khan alleged the grave was dug up at Setalvad’s behest. The investigating officer issued summons to Setalvad, who had obtained anticipatory bail from a Mumbai court. Finally, when chargesheet was filed, Setalvad was shown as absconding accused. 

    Objecting to this, Setalvad filed a petition through advocate Kamini Jaiswal demanding quashing of the FIR claiming that instead of making her a witness in this case, the police sought to implicate her as an accused.
Setalvad has taken contention that instead of taking action against accused in the massacre, who were acquitted in absence of evidence, a section in the state government is trying to frame her and the victims of the violence. She also argued that the prosecution is taking undue advantage of disgruntled former employee of her organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace. 

    During the proceeding, Justice Shah asked the petitioner why she did not prefer challenging the summons, if she had objection to issuance of summons. To this, advocate Jaiswal proposed the court that if the summons are stayed, she would be withdrawing her quashing petition. 

TOI 26MAY2011
Gujarat EDN


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