Monday, August 1, 2011

SC Stays Proceedings Against Teesta in Pandarwada Case

Gujarat EDN DNA 30JUL2011

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today stayed criminal proceedings against social activist Teesta Setalvad for her alleged role in a case of exhuming the bodies of post-Godhra riot victims in 2006 at Pandarwada in Gujarat.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha also issued notice to the Gujarat government seeking its response to Setalvad's plea for quashing the criminal proceedings against her. She had approached the apex court against the May 27 order of the Gujarat High Court refusing to quash the First Information Report (FIR) registered against her. Setalvad had moved the high court in May for quashing the FIR registered against her at a police station in Panchmahal district of the state in connection with exhumation of the bodies from Pandarwada and surrounding villages in Khanpur taluka from a graveyard near river Panam in Gujarat.

The high court, however, had quashed the summons issued to her terming her as absconding. It observed that by showing Setalvad as an absconding accused in the charge sheet filed in April, "a glaring mistake has been committed by the investigating officer".

The FIR had alleged that Setalvad, who had earlier secured anticipatory bail from a local court in Panchmahal district, was the prime conspirator behind the incident.

Setalvad was implicated in the case by one of her former close aides Rais Khan who was associated earlier with her civil society organisation -- Citizen for Justice and Peace (CJP).
Khan had alleged that the bodies were exhumed at the instance of Setalvad. —Agencies


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