A court in Ahmedabad on Sunday remanded social activist Teesta Setalvad and former state police director-general RB Sreekumar into custody until July 2 in a case of fabricating evidence to frame innocent people in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The prosecution had asked Setalvad and Sreekumar to be detained for 14 days.
The court of metropolitan magistrate SP Patel has sent Setalvad and Sreekumar, both arrested in connection with an FIR filed by the city crime on Saturday, to the police until July 2, prosecutor Mitesh Amin said.
Setalvad had accused police of assaulting her and bruising her arm when she was picked up on Saturday by Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) staff from her home in Mumbai. She was brought here and handed over to city crime on Sunday.
During the hearing, she was taken to the municipal hospital for medical examination on the instructions of the court.
“The court has kept the medical statement in its file. We had demanded 14 days in pre-trial detention on the grounds that the two accused had provided fabricated evidence, such as affidavits. It is necessary to interrogate them to know who their political masters are, as the highest court noted that the matter was politicized,” Amin said.
Sreekumar was arrested on Saturday and Setalvad on Sunday. Former IPS officer and accused Sanjiv Bhatt, who is serving a life sentence in a cell death sentence and in a prison in Palanpur in Banaskantha district, will be taken to Ahmedabad on a transfer warrant.
The city’s crime department registered an FIR against the three accused on Saturday, a day after the Supreme Court rejected a petition challenging the blank slate the SIT had given to then-Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others in 2002 after the riots of godhra.
Setalvad, Sreekumar and Bhatt are accused of abusing the law’s process by conspiring to fabricate evidence in an attempt to defraud innocent people for a crime punishable by death in connection with the 2002 Gujarat riots.
While dismissing the plea of Zakia Jafri, widow of murdered former MP Ehsan Jafri, the highest court noted: “Ultimately, it seems to us that a concerted effort by the disaffected officials of the state of Gujarat along with others was to create sensation by to make revelations that were untrue to their own knowledge.” The trio is classified under Sections 468, 471 (forgery), 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence for the purpose of obtaining a conviction for a capital offense), 211 (initiating criminal proceedings to cause harm), 218 ( officer making an inaccurate record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from confiscation), and 120(B) (criminal conspiracy).
The complaint was based on court records and other material to establish a clear crime against them.
It took into account the comments submitted to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the cases of Gujarat riots in 2002, and the Government of Gujarat-appointed Commission of Inquiry of Justice Nanavati-Shah .