Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad crime branch today opposed an anticipatory bail plea of controversial activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand at a sessions court in the Rs 1.4 crore alleged fund embezzlement case.
City sessions court judge PJ Tamakuwala concluded the hearing on the bail plea and reserved the order for 23 May.
Opposing the bail plea, the crime branch claimed that the couple had misused the money for their “personal and political cause”.
The crime branch is investigating the case on the basis of an FIR lodged in Ahmedabad on 30 March this year.
[pullquote]The crime branch stated that the investigation was at a sensitive stage and the accused were capable of affecting evidence against them if they were prevented from arrest[/pullquote]
In its submission, the crime branch said the accused misused the fund granted to their NGO Sabrang Trust by Union HRD Ministry between 2010 and 2013 for educational purpose “to pay witnesses in serious cases in Gujarat to make false deposition(s)”.
During this period, Setalvad worked as field co-coordinator for her NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, while her husband Javed Anand as the trustee of Sabrang Trust.
The ministry had granted Rs 1.4 crore between 2010 and 2013 to the NGO for a scheme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, as per the submission.
Complainant Raees Khan Pathan had lodged an FIR against Setalvad, Anand and some unidentified officials of the HRD Ministry under various sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
In its submission, the crime branch stated that the investigation was at a sensitive stage and the accused were capable of affecting evidence against them if they were prevented from arrest.
Under the ‘Khoj project’, the Sabrang Trust published literature and pamphlets that spread communal hatred, which was against the Constitution and judiciary, which is “dangerous for country’s unity”, the crime branch said.
Setalvad pitched for the fund by misusing her position as a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education of HRD Ministry, the crime branch said.
The Supreme Court had last month granted temporary relief to Setalvad and Anand by extending their interim protection from arrest and transit anticipatory bail from 2 May to 31 May, granted to them by the Bombay High Court.
The apex court had also directed the couple to approach the competent court in Gujarat for securing anticipatory bail, following which they filed the plea in Ahmedabad.