| Teesta: Legal shield
Mumbai/Ahmedabad, Nov. 9: Spooked by Best Bakery prime witness Zahira Sheikh's criminal charges against her, human rights activist Teesta Setalvad today moved Bombay High Court for anticipatory bail.
Zahira filed an affidavit before the Vadodara district collector last week, alleging that Setalvad, who played a key role in re-opening the Bakery trial and shifting it to Mumbai, had held her captive and 'tutored' her to make incriminating statements against innocent people ' charges that are non-bailable. Justice R.S. Mohite will hear Setalvad's petition tomorrow.
Gujarat police chief A.K. Bhargav denied any move to arrest her. He said there was no complaint against her and, therefore, there was no question of taking her into custody.
Even if Zahira filed a complaint against her, the police would have to investigate the charges before taking action, he clarified while trying to dispel the impression created by Setalvad that Gujarat police might arrest her any moment.
Setalvad, who came to court with her lawyers Satish Maneshinde and Sayaji Nangre, feared that an FIR may have been registered against her on the basis of Zahira's charges.
Nangre refused comment till the court heard the petition. One of Setalvad's advisers, advocate Mihir Desai, said she sought anticipatory bail as a precaution though her arrest was 'very unlikely'.
Vadodara police commissioner Sudhir Sinha said though no complaint has been filed against Setalvad, she could be apprehensive about the other witnesses, based on whose statements she fears police might arrest her.
Cedric Prakash, Setalvad's colleague in Gujarat, said he had asked her to come to Gujarat to apply for anticipatory bail, but her lawyers advised her against it. Setalvad, he said, had no option but to apply for anticipatory bail as the 'Gujarat government was contemplating to arrest her on any flimsy charge'.