Activist Teesta Setalvad has argued before the Gujarat High Court that only the Supreme Court or the relevant first instance court could have lodged a complaint against her even if she had forged affidavits filed before the courts in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots. Her lawyer also argued that others who had testified and signed the The statements made before the court and the special investigation team that was formed to investigate the riot cases were not named as defendants in the current case.

Senior Advocate Mihir Thakur, on behalf of Setalvad, filed before the Court of Justice Nirzar Desai Tuesday The prosecution invoked the IPC’s sections of forgery and falsification of records in order to “get out of” Section 195 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (prosecution for contempt of legal authority of public officials, for offenses against public justice and offenses related to documents presented as evidence) because not a single document was signed by the activist, “except perhaps a petition here and an SLP party there”. “All affidavits are signed by the parties concerned, who are not accused. Even Zakia Jafri (wife of the slain former Congressman Ahsan Jafri) is not accused… The transfer petitioners have not been vetted by SIT, and most of them have not been vetted,” he said. Thakur while claiming Setalvad’s bail before the High Court of Justice.

The indictment alleges that Seetalvad, in an effort to implicate “the then Prime Minister (and now Prime Minister Narendra Modi), senior state government officials and senior BJP leaders” in the large-scale deaths due to the 2002 communal riots “with a death sentence”, orchestrated” Conspiracy to set up a false case with false evidence. However, her lawyer confirmed that forgery offenses did not apply.

Adding that there have been baseless allegations in the past against Setalvad and various courts have taken action against those making such claims, Thakur cited Zahira Sheikh’s allegations made at a press conference where Sheikh stated that Setalvad had allegedly pressured her into giving false testimony. However, Thakur noted that the Supreme Court sanctioned Zahira in contempt of court after finding the sheikh’s allegations to be false.

Thakur also highlighted the evidence of Raisekhan Pathan, which the prosecution relied on in its case against Setalvad. He said he had already made similar allegations against her earlier, and in one case a warrant was issued for a crime, he said.


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