A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice UU Lalit raised serious concerns about the way activist Teesta Setalvad has been kept in custody in Gujarat for more than two months and demanded to know how the Gujarat High Court issued a notice asking for a reply after six weeks.
Significantly, the bench observed that there is “no offence in this case over which bail cannot be granted”, underlying the fact that the concerned party Teesta Setalvad is a woman. The bench included Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia.
“She is a lady. How did the high court issue a notice returnable after six weeks? Is that the standard practice in Gujarat High Court? And give us instances where a lady is involved in a case like this and the High Court has made it [notice on bail plea] returnable by six weeks,” remarked the Chief Justice.
Teesta Setalvad is in jail for more than two months without any charge sheet filed yet. She has been in custody since June 25 over allegations that she faked documents to file cases related to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The Chief Justice added that “There is no offence in this case that comes with a rider that bail cannot be granted, like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Prevention of Terrorism Act. These are normal offences and a lady is entitled to favourable treatment”
Gujarat Police’s Anti Terror Squad arrested activist Teesta Setalvad from Mumbai, a day after the Supreme Court dismissed her client Zakia Jafri’s petition challenging clearing Narendra Modi of any wrongdoing in the alleged larger conspiracy involving the Gujarat riots by the Special Investigation Team.
Also Read: SC Notice To Guj Govt: List Teesta Interim Relief Plea On Aug. 25