Apex Court to listen to bail plea of activist Teesta Setalvad on August 22

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to list on August 22 for hearing the bail plea of social activist Teesta Setalvad who was arrested for allegedly fabricating evidence to border "innocent people" within the 2002 riots cases.

A bench headed by justice N V Ramana took note of the submissions of lawyer Aparna Bhat, appearing for the activist, that her plea be listed for hearing.

The bench, also comprising Justices J K Maheshwari and Hima Kohli, has now listed Setalvad's plea before a bench headed by CJI-designate Justice U U Lalit next Monday.

The Gujarat court, on August 3, issued a notice to the regime on the bail plea of Setalvad and glued the plea for hearing on September 19.

Prior to this, a sessions court at Ahmedabad, on July 30, had rejected the bail applications of Setalvad and former Director General of Police R B Sreekumar within the case, saying that if they were released, it'll send a message to wrongdoers that an individual can level allegations with impunity and acquire away with it.

Setalvad and former Director General of Police (DGP) RB Sreekumar, both arrested in June, are accused of fabricating evidence to border "innocent people" within the post-Godhra riots cases.

They are lodged within the Sabarmati central jail. Sreekumar has also moved the state supreme court for bail.

Former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, the third accused within the case, has not applied for bail. Bhatt was already in jail for one more criminal matter when he was arrested during this case.

The accused apparently aimed to destabilize the Gujarat government and defame the state for his or her ulterior motives, it said while denying them relief.

They were arrested by the Ahmedabad city crime branch in June after a primary Information Report (FIR) was registered against them under Indian legal code sections 468 (forgery for cheating) and 194 (fabricating false evidence with intent to acquire conviction for capital offences).

Mumbai-based Setalvad and Sreekumar were arrested within a pair of days after the Supreme Court on Midsummer Day dismissed a petition filed by Zakia Jafri, the wife of former Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri who was killed in Ahmedabad during the riots, triggered by the torching of a lecturer of Sabarmati Express by a mob near Godhra station on February 27, 2002.

As many as 59 passengers were charred to death within the incident.