19junel14


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June 19, 2014

Press Release

‘Allegations of embezzlement against Teesta and Javed baseless’:
Auditors

The hearing in
the Anticipatory Bail applications of Teesta Setalvad, Javed
Anand and three Survivors of the Gulberg society massacre,
Tanvir Jafri, Salim Sandhi and Firoz Gulzar pathan was postponed
till
July 9, 2014 after Setalvad
filed a 96 page Counter affidavit complete with detailed records
from audited accounts and bank statements completely disproving
the renewed set of baseless allegations made by the Crime
Branch, Ahmedabad. The state had, on June 13, 2014 filed yet
another affidavit. Protection against arrest will therefore
continue.

The Citizens
for Justice and Peace state that it has Trustees (Teesta
Setalvad and Javed Anand) have rebutted, for the sixth time,
point by point the baseless allegations made against their
functionaries.

In their
affidavit filed before the Gujarat High Court today,

June 19, 2014, Setalvad and
Anand have urged the courtÂ’s particular attention to reports
filed by the auditors of Citizens for Justice and Peace and
Sabrang Trust with the Crime Branch, Ahmedabad, unambiguously
affirming that the embezzlement of funds by the two of them as
alleged by the Gujarat police were totally baseless. The 96-page
affidavit points out the gaping holes in the repeated and
equally baseless fresh allegations made by the Crime Branch in
its June 13, 2014 affidavit filed in the Gujarat High Court in a
continuing malicious bid to arrest both of them on trumped up
charges.

Since the
facts placed on record by the auditors does not suit the devious
game-plan of the Gujarat police, its latest affidavit accuses
the auditors of both the trusts of “conniving” with the trusts
in the “manipulation of accounts”. The Gujarat police clearly
have no qualm in affirming falsehoods on affidavits before the
courts, sullying reputations and spreading cannards without a
shred of evidence.

The Crime
Branch IO KN Patel has deliberately sought to mislead the Court
by selectively quoting from parts of the accounts of both
Trusts, Citizens for Justice and Peace and Sabrang trust and in
not one of his affidvaits filed since February 2014, has he
substantiated claims with filing the documentary evidence from
the investigation record.
(Income and Expenditure Statement,
Balance Sheet and Schedules all together form the Audited
Accounts as per proper accounting procedure. The Trust
functionaries have annexed over 60 pages of actual accounts to
subsantiate their stand.

Annexing
documentary evidence to their affidavit to debunk the claims of
the Crime branch, Setalvad has urged that the court consider
issuing directions to the police to produce before the court the
documentary evidence on which their allegations are based.

In early
January 2014, the Crime branch had filed an FIR levelling
criminal charges against Teesta Setalvad, Javed Anand, Tanvir
Jafri (son of the late MP Ehsan Jafri), and two other office
bearers of the Gulberg Society, Ahmedabad, who had lost several
family members in the February 28, 2002 massacre at the housing
society. The Gujarat police subsequently issued blatantly
illegal instructions and complying with the same, IDBI and UBI
froze the accounts of the trusts as well as the personal
accounts of both Setalvad and Anand in an obvious attempt to
financially cripple the ongoing legal battle for justice to the
victims and punishment to the perpetrators and masterminds of
the state-sponsored 2002 mass crimes in Gujarat.

Setalvad and Anand have debunked the false claims of the IO
Crime Branch that as much as 44 and 45% of the donations
collected by the Trusts went into their personal accounts. The
moderate honorariums received by both, depending on the
Projects, in accordance with the terms and conditions and law
amounted to 4.81 per cent of total donations for honorarium to
Setalvad and 2.91 per cent of the total donations to Javed Anand.
(Page 67 of the Counter Affidavit filed on

June 19, 2014). This is nnexed
here.

Since early
this year when the FIR was filed, Investigation Officer (IO),
ACP K.N. Patel has filed several affidavits in the Sessions
Court, Ahmedabad, Bombay High Court and the Gujarat High Court,
claiming without a shred of evidence that Setalvad and
Anand have pocketed away crores of rupees collected by the two
trusts in a manner as to “shock the court”. In their rejoinder
affidavits Setalvad and Anand have placed the actual facts
before the courts debunking each and every baseless allegation
made by the IO. This, however, has not stopped the Crime Branch
from peddling blatant falsehoods; that two in affidavits filed
in courts.    

In end-March
2014, Investigation Officer (IO), ACP K.N. Patel wrote separate
letters to M/s Haribhakti & Co., Chartered Accountants, the
auditors of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), and to M/s D.
M. Sathe & Co., Chartered Accountants, the auditors of Sabrang
Trust, accusing Setalvad and Anand of embezzlement of crores
from the funds raised by CJP and Sabrang Trust. As auditors of
the two trusts, both firms were asked to reply to specific
questions put to them both by the IO. Though this too was an
illegal move by the Crime Branch, the trustees of both the
trusts decided to co-operate fully in the re-audit of accounts
of both trusts.

The reports
filed by both the auditors with the Crime Branch in response to
the pointed queries by both auditors conclusively nails the lies
of the Gujarat police and by implication unmasks its vile
intent. Here below are a few excerpts from the auditorsÂ’
reports:

Among other
allegations, the IOÂ’s letter to M/s Haribhakti & Co. had claimed
that Setalvad and Anand were guilty of using CJPÂ’s funds to pay
for their “personal expenses” including “branded and costly
shoes to movie tickets and grocery purchases” purchased through
their personal credit cards. The auditorÂ’s reply has stated that
“we have observed that none of such personal expenses has been
debited in the books of account of CJP”.

Pointing out
that “all relevant records such as vouchers/bills, books of
account, minute bookÂ… were made available to us by the
management of CJP for our verification”, the auditors’ report
further states that “we have not noticed that the funds of CJP
were used by its trustees for the purpose other than its
‘Objects’”.

In reply to
another query concerning reimbursements to Setalvad and Anand
for expenses incurred through their credit cards only for items
related to the objects of the trust, the report by Haribhakti &
Co. also notes that the expenses so reimburse were “through the
notice and concurrence of the Board of Trustees of CJP through
the resolutions for adoption of audited financial statements of
CJP for the respective year”.

In their own
response to pointed questions by the Gujarat police, the
auditors of Sabrang Trust have been equally clear that the
allegations against Setalvad and Anand are not borne out after
their re-audit of accounts.

The auditors
were asked by the IO to respond to its alleged unearthing of
“embezzlement of funds received for public purposes from various
national and international donors.” The auditors reply: “On the
basis of information and explanation received and documents
examined by us we did not find such alleged embezzlement of
funds. The funds received for public purposes from various
international donors were spent wholly and exclusively for the
purposes for which they were given by the funding agencies”.

Another query
to the auditor pertained to its allegation that Setalvad and
Anand “have utilized substantial amount from FCRA account
towards expenses of personal nature”. The auditors reply: “On
the basis of information and explanation received and documents
examined by us we did not find any expenses of personal nature”.

On the IOÂ’s
allegation concerning “huge withdrawals of cash” the auditors
have reported back that, “On the basis of information and
explanation received and documents examined by us we did not
find “huge cash withdrawals”. The cash withdrawals from time to
time were for the expenses on objects of the Trust. In support
of his conclusion, D. M. Sathe & Co. have provided a detailed
table to establish that the cash withdrawals matched with the
cash expenses on objects of the trust. Both auditors reports are
also attached to this press release. Advocates
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/images/cleardot.gifMs
Kamini Jaiswal and Mihir Desai appeared for the Trust
functionaries.

Trustees:

IM Kadri               
Alyque Padamsee         
Raghunandan Maluste  
Cyrus Guzder        Anil Dharker                  
Rahul Bose
Cedric Prakash     Gulam Pesh Imam         
Shakuntala Kulkarni


—  Affidavit Rejoinder


— 
DM Sathe Report



Haribhakti Report

 


 

 


 

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