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Gujarat court likely to pass order on bail pleas of Teesta Setalvad today

Ahmedabad: A sessions court in Ahmedabad is likely to pass its order on Friday on the bail applications of activist Teesta Setalvad and former DGP R B Sreekuamr arrested for allegedly fabricating documents to frame innocent people in the 2002 riots cases.

Additional principal judge D D Thakkar is likely to pronounce the order on the bail pleas.

On Thursday, the court had deferred its order in the case till Friday, which it did for the second time this week.

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The two accused have denied the charges. The government has formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case.

Apart from Setalvad and Sreekumar, former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is also an accused in the case and has been arrested.

The trio has been arrested by the crime branch, which had filed a first information report (FIR) against them under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence).

In its affidavit, the SIT has alleged that they were part of a larger conspiracy carried out at the behest of late Congress leader Ahmed Patel to destabilise the then Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Narendra Modi.

It has alleged that Setalvad was paid Rs 30 lakh at Patel’s behest soon after the Godhra train burning incident of 2002. Sreekumar was a “disgruntled government officer” who “abused the process for damning the elected representatives, bureaucracy and police administration of the whole state of Gujarat for ulterior purposes”, the SIT claimed.

The FIR against Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt was registered after the Supreme Court last month dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, widow of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Her plea had alleged a “larger conspiracy” behind the post-Godhra riots.

On February 8, 2012, the SIT filed a closure report giving a clean chit to Prime Minister Modi and 63 others, including senior government officials, saying there was “no prosecutable evidence” against them.

The top court on June 24 this year upheld the SIT’s clean chit to Modi and 63 others.

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