Former DGP RB Sreekumar transferred a court hearing in Ahmedabad on Monday seeking release in a case registered against him for falsifying evidence in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.

According to his attorney, Attorney U.D. Shekhawat, charges have not yet been filed against the accused in the case. He said the request for discharge, under Section 239 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, was moved on three grounds. “We have presented in our application that we are innocent, that there is no specific allegation against the applicant (Sreekumar) in the FIR and the briefs filed by the applicant before the Nanavati Commission cannot be used to prosecute him as per the judgment of the Supreme Court,” said Shekhawat. The case will be heard on May 22.

Currently, the case is still in the drafting phase of charges before Ahmedabad Sessions Court after filing of charge sheet against activist Teesta Seetalvad, Srikumar and former IBS Sanjeev Bhatt under IPC sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 468 (forgery), 471 (using document or record genuine forged letter), 194 (presentation or fabrication of false evidence with intent to convict a capital offence, 211 (falsely charge of a crime with intent to harm) and 218 (public servant framing an incorrect record or writing with intent to save a person from punishment or property from forfeiture) last year .

Meanwhile, Setalvad also relayed a request for materials from the prosecution that she may have and that could help her with the case.

The activist alleged that while the prosecution provided her with a list of documents that were relied upon in the case, it kept her in the dark about other materials the police or the prosecution might have on their property that might be of a deportation nature.

Setalvad’s application stated that the list of documents relied upon did not include “another separate and obligatory list of documents as provided by the Supreme Court”.

An FIR was filed against the three accused by the Ahmedabad Crime Disclosure Branch on the same charges based on a Supreme Court ruling last year that upheld a clean sheet of paper for then-Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet and bureaucrats over their role in the 2002 riots.

While Mumbai-based activist Setalvad and Srikumar, who were arrested in June 2022, are currently on provisional bail, Bhatt is serving a life sentence in a jail in Palanpur in Banaskantha district of Gujarat in a case of death in custody.

– With PTI input


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