SC for final disposal of pleas to defreeze account of Teesta, others

The SC would next month take up the pleas filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad and her two controversial NGOs challenging the freezing of their accounts by the Ahmedabad Police for final disposal.

Published: 09th November 2016 06:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2016 06:23 PM   |  A+A-


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court would next month take up the pleas filed by social activist Teesta Setalvad and her two controversial NGOs challenging the freezing of their accounts by the Ahmedabad Police for final disposal.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy directed Gujarat government to file its response on the pleas by November 16 and rejoinder thereafter in a week, while fixing December one for final disposal of the pleas.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal appearing for Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand alleged that Gujarat government had taken three adjournments in the matter, after notice was issued to them and their accounts have remained frozen for nearly three years.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Gujarat government, said the state needed some time to file the reply to the pleas.

The bench granted time till November 16 to the state government to file the response and posted the matter for final disposal on December 1.

Teesta, her husband and the two NGOs -- Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace -- have approached the apex court challenging the October 7, 2016, verdict of the Gujarat High Court which had rejected their pleas for defreezing their personal bank accounts.

One of the residents of Gulberg Society, Firoz Khan Pathan, had filed a complaint against Setalvad and others alleging that money was raised to make a museum at Gulberg Society in the memory of those who were killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots, but it had not been utilised for the purpose. The action of the Ahmedabad Police had come soon after its Crime Branch had started probing a case in which Setalvad and others were accused of embezzling Rs 1.51 crore collected to convert Gulberg Society -- where 69 people were killed during the post-Godhra riots -- into a 2002 riots museum.

The high court had upheld the verdict of a lower court in this regard observing that the probe was at a serious point in the alleged case of Gulberg society fund embezzlement.

In their plea before the apex court, the petitioners have alleged that their accounts were "illegally freezed" without following the due process of law.

"The accounts of the petitioner have been frozen by the respondents without any prior notice and this act of freezing her personal accounts is not pursuant to the discovery of any offence but is in terms of a fishing expedition as an attempt to find out if any offence has been committed," the plea has said. 

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