Supreme Court Grants Regular Bail to Activist Denied Bail by Gujarat High Court

2 min read

The Supreme Court granted regular bail to Setalvad on Wednesday, overturning the Gujarat High Court’s decision to deny bail. Setalvad has been accused of fabricating evidence related to the 2002 Gujarat riots to implicate senior government officials.

The bench of Justices B R Gavai, A S Bopanna, and Dipankar Datta set aside the High Court’s July 1 order and stated that Setalvad will continue to enjoy the bail granted last year in the case.

The bench directed Setalvad to continue on the bail granted to her on September 2, 2022, commenting that the High Court’s order was contradictory and “totally perverse.”

The bench noted that the considerations required for granting bail are a prima facie case, the possibility of tampering with evidence or influencing witnesses, and the seriousness of the offense. It also emphasized that most of the evidence in the case is documentary and already in the possession of the investigating agency.

The bench addressed the state’s concerns about witness influence, stating that Setalvad should not make any attempt to influence the witnesses and should stay away from them.

The bench clarified that none of the observations made in the impugned order will influence the trial court at the stage of the trial.

Setalvad was arrested by the Gujarat Police on June 25, 2022, on an FIR filed by the Detection of Crime Branch for allegedly conspiring to falsely implicate innocent persons in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.

She was arrested a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea against the SIT’s clean chit to then Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others over allegations of conspiracy in the riots.

In its order on the Zakia Jafri ruling, the Supreme Court noted that the proceedings had been pursued for the last 16 years “to keep the pot boiling, obviously, for ulterior design.”

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Setalvad, argued that the offenses charged against her, except those under Section 194 and Section 468 of IPC, are all bailable. He contended that even if the allegations in the FIR are taken at face value, a case under Section 194 is not made out.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju opposed the application for bail, stating that Setalvad was involved in a “very heinous crime of trying to get the conviction of persons who are totally unconnected by forging the evidence.”

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours