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Teesta Setalvad calls for independent probe under SC supervision


Even as the Supreme Court has put a stay on her arrest till February 19, social activist Teesta Setalvad on Saturday demanded that an independent investigation be conducted by any agency outside Gujarat supervised by the Supreme Court.

Ms. Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and others are accused of embezzlement of funds meant for the construction of a memorial for the Gujarat 2002 riot victims.

She has termed the allegations “baseless.”

Saying that they were “extremely disturbed and upset” by the Gujarat High Court Order, which cancelled their anticipatory bail recently, Ms. Setalvad also raised questions on the Gujarat Crime Branch’s credentials.

“We are and have always been prepared for a transparent and fair investigation. But can the Crime Branch today within Gujarat have collected documented evidence and also launched prosecutions that are pending? Can such an Investigation ever be impartial or not vindictive?” Ms. Setalvad asked in a Facebook post.

After a detailed reading of the 63-page order of the HC, she said it was “painfully clear that the Court has disregarded over 1500 pages of documentary evidence supplied by us since June 2014 in response to every single one of the allegations put out by the Gujarat Police Crime Branch.”

“We ask for fair hearing, not privilege,” Ms. Setalvad said.  “We will answer each and every charge, piece by piece, with documentary evidence. We have done no wrong. We have functioned legitimately. But in a truly free and fair country, the facts need to be examined in detail and dispassionately.”

She accused large sections of television media for acting like khap panchayats in hounding her.  “It is shocking that large sections of the television media have been like a khap panchayat not even attempting to go into both sides,” she said.


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