Teesta Setalvad moves Gujarat HC to quash FIR against her for fabricating evidence in 2002 riots cases

 Social activist Teesta Setalvad on Monday moved Gujarat High Court to quash an FIR filed against her by the city crime branch for allegedly fabricating evidence in the 2002 riots cases.

A sessions court had recently rejected her discharge plea in the case, even as the Supreme Court granted her bail after the Gujarat High Court denied her relief.

She moved a plea for quashing the FIR in the Gujarat High Court and the matter is likely to come up for hearing in a few days.

Setalvad and two others former state Director General of Police R B Sreekumar and former Indian Police Service officer Sanjiv Bhatt were arrested by the city crime branch in June 2022 on charges of forgery and fabricating evidence with the intent to implicate Gujarat government functionaries in the 2002 riots cases.

An FIR was registered against them after the Supreme Court last month dismissed the plea filed by Zakia Jafri, whose husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots.

Setalvad has been booked under sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence) of the Indian Penal Code, among others.

Zakia Jafri’s plea alleged a “larger conspiracy” behind the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat involving the then chief minister Narendra Modi. The court upheld the SIT’s clean chit to Modi and 63 others.

In its judgment, the Supreme Court observed that, “At the end of the day, it appears to us that a coalesced effort of the disgruntled officials of the State of Gujarat along with others was to create sensation by making revelations which were false to their own knowledge.

“The falsity of their claims had been fully exposed by the SIT after a thorough investigation … As a matter of fact, all those involved in such abuse of process need to be in the dock and proceed in accordance with law.”

Ehsan Jafri was among the 68 people killed at Ahmedabad’s Gulberg Society during violence on February 28, 2002, a day after the Godhra train burning that claimed 59 lives.

The riots that it triggered killed 1,044 people, mostly Muslims. Giving details, the Central government informed the Rajya Sabha in May 2005 that 254 Hindus and 790 Muslims were killed in the post-Godhra riots.

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