06, Dec 2017
The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) got a reprieve from the Supreme Court when, by a final order passed today, December 6, 2017, they have been permitted to challenge orders passed by trial court in Gujarat which had passed the order in December 2010 without hearing either CJP or Teesta Setalvad. The special leave petition was disposed off, not dismissed.
Teesta Setalvad had been the singular target of the State through a previous employee of CJP who had shopped for fora to file multiple complaints against her. She has had to take anticipatory bail several times to avoid incarceration. Even in this case, the ABA granted by the Ahmedabad Sessions Court has been challenged by the state of Gujarat in the High Court.
Background of the case: During the course of the present trial, many prosecution witnesses have appeared and supported the case of the prosecution. There were over seven witnesses in the trial who had also sworn affidavits which were filed before the Supreme Court. During the course of their cross examination by the Defence and they were confronted with these affidavits. In the course of the cross examination, they have differed with certain portions of the affidavit. It is admitted by all these persons that:
a. They willingly swore the affidavits;
b. They purchased the stamp paper for executing them;
c. The affidavits were prepared in their presence;
d. The contents were read over to them in vernacular;
e. The Petitioner No. 2 was not present when the affidavits were prepared;
f. The facts were narrated by the witnesses to Respondent 3 herein, Rais Khan.
g. Except for a few discrepancies, they stand by the contents of the affidavit;
Rais Khan, following his termination from CJP, began to level a series of false allegations against the Petitioners out of sheer vindictiveness. A copy of the list of complaints initiated at the behest of the Respondent 3. He also filed applications under section 311 of the Cr.P.C. in the then ongoing proceedings of the abovementioned trials. He continues to be fully supported by the current administration of the State of Gujarat and has also been appointed as a member of the Central Wakf Board.
Senior counsel appearing for the State of Gujarat and Rais Khan in full strength today confirm the nexus between the two.
The applications were rejected by the concerned trial courts and in one of the cases, the Sardarpura trial (Case No. 275 of 2002), the application filed by Rais Khan u/s 311 Cr.P.C. was not only dismissed but the Court directed that a prosecution be launched against Rais Khan u/s 177, 182 of IPC with reference to Section 195(1) and 340 (1) Cr.P.C. He challenged the same before the High Court which quashed the order and a SLP against the order of the High Court was also dismissed. The present petition at hand stems from the section 311 application filed by the Respondent No. 3 in the Naroda Gaam Trial (Case No. 203 of 2009).