Home / India / SC expresses concern over Teesta's prolonged imprisonment

SC expresses concern over Teesta's prolonged imprisonment

Supreme Court to hear human rights activist's bail plea on August 30
Teesta Setalvad.
Teesta Setalvad.
File photo

R. Balaji   |   New Delhi   |   Published 26.08.22, 03:41 AM

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed concern over the prolonged imprisonment of human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and said it would “test” whether incarceration was needed.

The bench of Chief Justice of India-designate U.U. Lalit and Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia listed Setalvad’s bail plea for hearing on Tuesday.

Setalvad was arrested on June 25 for allegedly fabricating evidence to frame “innocent people” in the 2002 Gujarat riots cases.

“We are concerned with one thing. Our concern is that the person is behind bars. We have to test whether her incarceration is needed,” Justice Lalit, who headed the bench, told solicitor-general Tushar Mehta.

The bench made the oral observation after Mehta, appearing for the Gujarat government, sought an adjournment till Monday on the ground that he was not satisfied with the reply filed by the state on Setalvad’s bail plea and wanted to submit a modified response.

“Can we have it on Monday? I need time to modify our reply,” Mehta said.

Justice Lalit replied: “Issue is someone is behind bars.”

Mehta said he was prepared to argue the case if the court felt the matter could not be adjourned. The judges briefly discussed among themselves and agreed to list the matter on Tuesday.

The court made it clear that Gujarat had to file its modified response by Monday so the bench could take the matter up on Tuesday.

Justice Lalit said Setalvad’s bail plea would be taken up as the day’s first item.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Setalvad, agreed with the brief adjournment but said that “every extra day’s incarceration is wrong” and affected the personal liberty of a citizen.

“That is true,” the bench agreed.

On June 24, while upholding a special investigation team’s clean chit to then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and several others in the Gulbarg Society massacre case in which former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was burnt alive, another bench of the Supreme Court had said those who had “kept the pot boiling” should be put “in the dock”.

Gujarat police arrested Setalvad the next day.

Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.