New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday posed a query to the Gujarat government and the CBI in connection with social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand, who have been out on anticipatory bail for over seven years, asking why they want to send the duo to jail?
Advocate Rajat Nair, representing the CBI and the Gujarat government, submitted before a bench headed by jJstice Sanjay Kishan Kaul that some additional material is required to be brought on record before the court regarding the cases and requested for four weeks’ time.
The bench, also comprising Justices Abhay S. Oka and B.V. Nagarathna, said: “Question is how long can you keep someone in custody.”
The apex court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by Setalvad, her husband, Gujarat Police, and the CBI arising out of three FIRs lodged against the couple.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate Aparna Bhat, representing Setalvad and her husband, said in one of the proceedings where the CBI has come in appeal, anticipatory bail was granted following which a charge sheet was filed and after that regular bail was granted to her.
At this, the bench added: “Seven years have passed since anticipatory bail was granted. You want to send her back to custody…”
Sibal said the appeal of the probe agency against anticipatory bail does not survive, as regular bail was already granted.
Nair contended that it happened in one case but there is more than one case against her, and added that this matter was referred to a larger bench by a bench of two judges and questions were framed which need to be decided by this court. The bench scheduled the case for further hearing after four weeks.
The apex court in March 2015, had referred to a larger bench the anticipatory bail plea of Setalvad and her husband in connection with alleged embezzlement of funds for a museum at Ahmedabad’s Gulbarg Society devastated in the 2002 riots and extended its interim order protecting them against arrest.