17, Feb 2015
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
The Gujarat police’s move to arrest Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand is not just about “the harassment and victimization“ of activists fighting for justice in the Gujarat carnage cases. It’s a warning to all about “the consequences of speaking up“.
This was the consensus at a meeting organized by the Press Club of India on Monday to express solidarity with Setalvad and Anand, both of whom are activists as well as journalists.
While their arrest has been stayed by the Supreme Court till the next hearing of their anticipatory bail plea on February 19, the speakers at the meeting questioned the Gujarat police’s insistence on “custodial interrogation“.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising contended there was no need for custodial interrogation as “the primary evidence“ in the case involving allegations of cheating and breach of trust was “documentary“. The question of whether the couple had embezzled any of the funds collected for building a museum at one of the sites of the Gujarat violence, Gulberg Society in Ahmedabad, according to Jaising, depended entirely on the interpretation of books of accounts, credit card bills and other such documented transactions. “Setalvad was therefore entitled to ask for questions in writing,“ Jaising said, making light of the allegation that she was not cooperating with the probe.
The circumstances in which the case had been booked also came in for criticism.
***This Article was originally published by The Times Of India. It can be found here.