Supreme Court bars Teesta Setalvad’s arrest in embezzlement case before 31st May

Controversial social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand’s “interim protection from arrest” was extended by the Supreme Court on Monday. This meant the transit anticipatory bail granted to them by the Bombay High Court stood extended from May 2nd to May 31st. The apex court has also asked them to file a petition in a Gujarat court for anticipatory bail or relief before 31st May.

This ruling was issued while the Supreme Court was hearing an appeal from the Gujarat government against the transit anticipatory bail till granted to Teesta and her husband, by the Bombay High Court on Thursday. Under this order, the High Court granted the husband-wife couple protection from arrest till 2nd May.

The Gujarat Police in January had filed cases pertaining to cheating, corruption and hate speech against Teesta, her husband and others. The said matter though pertains to the Ahmedabad crime Branch registering a case of Teesta and her husband fraudulently securing grants amounting to Rs 1.4 crores from the HRD ministry for their NGO Sabrang Trust, from 2010 to 2013.

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As per Live Law, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared for the Gujarat government stated that its was Gujarat’s case and was being investigated by the Ahmedabad Police. He thus argued that the Bombay High Court exceeded its jurisdiction in providing Teesta her transit anticipatory bail.

C.U. Singh the senior advocate appearing for Teesta though on the other hand argued that the said offence pertained to an educational institute in Maharashtra.

While hearing the case, a bench of Justices Kurian Joseph, Navin Sinha and Mohan Shantanagoudar, observed that as the FIR was filed in Gujarat, Teesta and co. would need to pursue this matter in that state only. They also observed that Bombay High Court had no jurisdiction in this matter.

As per reports, the bench while extending the interim bail till 31st May also stated that Teesta and her husband would need to seek appropriate remedy from a competent court in Gujarat prior to that date.

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