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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO.

OF 2015

(Arising out of the final judgement and order dated 12.2.2015 passed
by the High Court of Gujarat in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No.
4677 of 2014)
SYNOPSIS
This special leave petition is being filed against the order dated February 12,
2015 passed by the High Court of Gujarat by which anticipatory bail has
been denied to the Petitioners, Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed
Anand.
Petitioners have been actively involved in espousing the cause of the
victims of Gujarat communal violence in 2002 and ensuring that a fair
investigation is conducted regarding the carnage. This consistent and
painful work has ensured a) over 117 life imprisonments to powerful
perpetrators owing allegiance to the ruling dispensation; b) an ongoing
case where criminal conspiracy, abetment of a high order is still being
agitated against the high and mighty in the state; c) this has made
Petitioner No. 1 and the organisation she represents the victim of careful
vendetta to the extent that she has had to seek Anticipatory Bail
(prevention from arrest) in three instances before this; d) on these earlier
occasions, Anticipatory Bail has been sought and obtained from courts in
Gujarat.
The activities of Petitioner No. 1 representing her organisation, Citizens
for Justice and Peace, includes mainly providing day to day, handy legal
aid to over 570 Survivors who are also eye-witnesses in the critical cases
currently

afoot.

This

constitutional

activity

requires

persistence,

perseverance and resources. Even after the historic conviction of 117


persons to life imprisonment, pernicious efforts are being made to turn

witnesses/survivors hostile, in order to a) either facilitate easy bail or


b)reverse the convictions awarded. Till the appeals against these
convictions are not disposed off and the convictions are not confirmed by
the higher courts, the struggle of the Petitioners continues. However,
attempts are being made constantly by the communal political outfits and
the State machinery to curtail the movement and freedom of the
Petitioners and also to arrest their activities, so as to cynically reverse the
successes of the difficult struggle for reparation and justice.
There have been numerous false allegations against the Petitioners even
in the past and the Petitioners were exonerated by two trial court
judgements where, too, the proceedings were sought to be disrupted by
similar tactics. Central to these disruptions was a former employee of the
Petitioner No. 1 s organisation who is being carefully propped up by
political outfits. The Petitioner No. 1 for one reason or the other had to
approach the Gujarat Courts for grant of Anticipatory Bail in connection
with earlier instances of false and malafide allegations as mentioned
above. The details of which are as follows:
a) November, 2004: Best Bakery Re-Trial when the star witness turned
hostile for the second time and was given Commando protection by the
Gujarat police the day before her evidence was to be recorded in the retrial in Maharashtra;
b) February/March, 2011: Pandharwada Mass graves case from the Godhra
Sessions Court, Gujarat.
c) August 2011: Naroda Gaam case from Ahmedabad Sessions Court.
Gulbarg Society in Ahemedabad was one of the worst locations of the
carnage wherein 69 persons including women and children were butchered
before being burnt alive. To commemorate the loss of the people of the Society,
the Petitioners in collaboration with the members of the Society were considering
setting up a museum at the land of the Society. However, the idea could not be

materialized in view of the escalating prices of the land. The whole process was
totally transparent and at no point of time did the Petitioners take or demand any
money from the members of the Society or made any false promises. There was
also no written agreement that any member or the society executed in favour of
the Petitioners. The Petitioners or their trust and anybody representing them did
not take possession of the property either. In fact when rates of the land
escalated, it was communicated to the Society members that it would not be
possible for the Petitioners organization to be able to purchase the properties
and hence the proposal for the museum was cancelled as far back as in
November 2012. For a whole period while the critical Zakia Jafri case against
Narendra Modi and 59 others was being heard before the Magistrate in
Ahmedabad pursuant to an order of this Honble Court dated 12.9.2011, the
authorities were silent. Only after the Magistrate rejected the Protest Petition filed
by Smt Jafri on 26.12.2013 did the authorities revive this old malafide complaint
and file an FIR against the Petitioners. This FIR, at the instance of one of the
residents of the Society, has been clearly filed at the behest of a political party
and based on wrong assumptions, against the Petitioners and the office bearers
of Gulbarg Society alleging that they had misappropriated funds collected in the
name of opening the museum. The Petitioners trust is registered in Mumbai,
their Bank accounts are located in Mumbai, their Income Tax returns are filed
before the authorities in Mumbai and the Chartered accountants are located in
Mumbai.

The animosity and the revengeful nature of the particular fraction has gone to the
extent of lodging false cases in Gujarat in order to harass the Petitioners.

The scope of Section 438, Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 has been
discussed in the Constitution Bench judgment, Gurbaksh Singh Sibbia
vs. State of Punjab, (1980) 2 SCC 565 and also in various other

judgments. Following parameters for invoking jurisdiction under Section


438 have been laid down by this Honble court in these judgments Since denial of bail amounts to deprivation of personal liberty, the
Court

should

lean

against

the

imposition

of

unnecessary

restrictions on the scope of Section 438, especially when no such


restrictions have been imposed by the legislature in the terms of
that Section.
The applicant must show that he has reason to believe that he
may be arrested for a non-bailable offence.
The Court has to consider whether the accusations have been
made only with the object of injuring or humiliating the applicant by
arresting him/her.
Arrest should be the last option and it should be restricted to those
exceptional cases where arresting the accused is imperative in the
facts and circumstances of the case.

That the Petitioners originally approached the High Court of Bombay as the
cause of action if any

had infact arose only in Mumbai. The High Court of

Bombay had granted interim protection to the Petitioners which was extended by
this Honble Court in SLP (crl) No. 1770 of 2014 giving liberty to the Petitioners to
apply before the appropriate court in Gujarat. Following this order, the Petitioners
approached the learned Sessions Judge who rejected the application at a time
when the protection granted by this Honble Court was about to expire. The
Petitioners filed a petition in the High Court of Gujarat immediately and were
given protection and the protection continued till today. The petition for
anticipatory bail itself was heard over ten months during which time the
protection continued but unfortunately despite requests made by the Counsel for
the Petitioners, that protection was not extended. The denial of anticipatory bail
by the Gujarat High Court is on the face of it unsustainable and contrary to the

law laid down by this Honble Court in various judgement in relation to


anticipatory bail. As mentioned above the Petitioners were granted protection
initially by the Bombay High Court which was continued by this Honble Court
and has continued till today when the impugned order was passed. The
Petitioners have been co-operating with the police and given all the
information/documents which were relevant and necessary.

The Petitioners are responsible and respected citizens of this Country. The
Petitioner no.1s grandfather was the first attorney general of the Country and her
father was a respected senior advocate. There is no likelihood of them not cooperating with the law enforcement agencies and hence custodial interrogation is
not required.

Under these circumstances the Petitioners are filing the present petition under
the following set of facts and circumstances which are set out chronologically
hereunder

POSITION OF PARTIES
TRIAL COURT

HIGH COURT

IN THIS COURT

BETWEEN
1. Teesta Atul Setalvad
Secretary,
Citizens for Justice and Peace
Nirant, Juhu Tara Road,
Mumabi-400049
Applicant No. 1

Applicant No. 1

2. Javed Anand
Nirant, Juhu Tara Road,
Mumabi-400049
Applicant No. 2 Applicant No. 2

Petitioner No. 1

Petitioner No. 2

VERSUS
State of Gujarat
Through the Chief Secretary
Government of Gujarat
Block No.1, 3rd floor
New Sachivalaya Complex
Gandhinagar-382010
Respondent No. 1 Respondent No. 1Respondent No.1

A PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 136 OF THE


CONSTITUTION OF INDIA
To
The Honble Chief Justice of India
and his companion justices of the
Honble Supreme Court of India
The humble Petition of the
above named Petitioner
MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:
1.

The Petitioners are filing the present Special Leave Petition in this
Honble Court under Article 136 of the Constitution of India against the
impugned judgment and final order dated 12.2.2015 passed by the
Honble High Court of Gujarat rendered in Criminal Miscellaneous
Application No. 4677 of 2014 whereby the Honble High Court has
refused to grant Anticipatory Bail to the Petitioners under Section 438
of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

2.

Questions of LawThe present petition raises the following important questions of law that
needs interpretation of this Honble Court.
A. Whether in a case where the dispute is clearly of civil nature, can
anticipatory bail be rejected on the ground that custodial interrogation is
necessary?
B. Whether in the present case, the Honble High Court has considered
the

parameters laid down by this Honble Court in the case of

SiddharamSatlingappaMhetre v. State of Maharashtra &Ors., (2011) 1


SCC 694 while granting Anticipatory Bail as these parameters have
clearly not been taken into consideration while dealing with the
anticipatory bail:

i. The nature and gravity of the accusation and the exact role
of the accused must be properly comprehended before arrest
is made;
ii. The antecedents of the applicant including the fact as to
whether the accused has previously undergone imprisonment
on conviction by a Court in respect of any cognizable offence;
iii. The possibility of the applicant to flee from justice; iv. The
possibility of the accused's likelihood to repeat similar or the
other offences.
v. Where the accusations have been made only with the
object of injuring or humiliating the applicant by arresting him
or her.
vi. Impact of grant of anticipatory bail particularly in cases of
large magnitude affecting a very large number of people.
3.

DECLARATION IN TERMS OF RULE 4 (2):


The Petitioners state that they have not filed any other petition seeking
Leave to Appeal in this Honble Court against the impugned judgment
and final order dated February, 2015 passed by the Honble High Court
of Gujarat rendered in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 4677 of
2014.

4.

DECLARATION IN TERMS OF RULE 6:


The Annexures produced along with the Special Leave Petition are true
and correct copies of the pleadings/documents which form part of the
record of the case in the Court/Tribunal below against whose order the
leave to appeal is sought for in this petition.

5.

GROUNDS
That being aggrieved by the impugned judgment and final order dated
February 12, 2015, passed by the Honble High Court of Gujarat
rendered in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 4677 of 2014, the
Petitioners are filing the present Special Leave Petition on the

following, amongst other grounds which are being raised without


prejudice to one another: -

A. Because the Honble High Court erred in law as well as in fact in not
granting Anticipatory Bail to the Petitioners. It ought to have been
considered that the FIR has been registered against the Petitioners
solely with the purpose to harass them and that there is absolutely no
merit in the allegations.

B. Because the FIR filed against the Petitioners is based on a false and
mala-fide complaint, solely for the purpose of harassing and torturing
the Petitioners. The Petitioners have been actively involved in
rehabilitation work in Gujarat after the communal riots in 2002 and also
striving to ensure that a fair investigation is carried out regarding the
carnage. As the carnage was motivated and supported by communal
political outfits of the party in power, the State Government is not
appreciative of the efforts of the Petitioners and are constantly trying to
dissuade and disrupt the activities of the Petitioner. The present FIR is
also lodged at the behest of the political outfits and has absolutely no
merit in it.
C. Because the Honble High Court ought to have considered that even
earlier numerous complaints and allegations have been made against
the Petitioners with a mala fide intention and none of them had any
truth in them. The Petitioners were exonerated of all the charges made
against them and infact an enquiry was ordered against the
complainant who made those allegations.
D. Because the Honble High Court ought to have considered that the
Petitioners are actively involved in supporting the cause of the victims

of communal violence in Gujarat and because of that are themselves


victims of political vendetta. This Honble Court by its order dated April
21, 2004 had taken notice of the threats being issued to the Petitioner
No. 1 and had directed adequate protection for her. This security
arrangement continues till date and Petitioner No.1 is under constant
protection and surveillance of CISF. It is humbly submitted that this fact
itself rules out any possibility of Petitioner No. 1 absconding.
E. Because the Honble High Court erred in law as well as in fact in not
considering that the complaint filed by the complainant does not
establish any co-relation between the Petitioners and the alleged
offence. Moreover, no loss has been caused to the complainant and he
has initiated action against the Petitioners with a mala fide intention
and wrong assumptions, making false and baseless allegations.
F. Because the allegations, assuming whilst denying them, would clearly
constitute cause of action under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation)
Act, 2010 and no prosecution can be initiated without due sanctions
thereunder as a prerequisite. Therefore, it is humbly submitted that the
complaint itself is liable to be quashed and the Petitioners be granted
protection by way of Anticipatory Bail.
G. Because the Honble High Court erred in law as well as in fact in not
considering that the accounts of the Trust of the Petitioners were
regularly and statutorily audited and there was no question of
misappropriating any funds. It is humbly submitted that the Sabrang
Trust was considering setting up a Museum at the plot of the Gulbarg
Society and the office bearers of the Society were supportive of the
idea. The Society had passed a resolution approving the proposal that
the said plot would be sold to the Trust for the museum. However, the
same could not be materialized due to rise in the price of the land. At
no point of time, was any demand made of any money or land from any

member of the Society; the entire process was transparent and the
complainant without any basis made the present complaint.
H. Because the Honble High Court ought to have appreciated that the
Complainant has failed to establish any case against the Petitioners or
provide any document or evidence in support of his allegations. There
is no question of criminal breach of trust as the Petitioners were never
in possession of any property or money belonging to the complainant
or for that matter any member of the Gulbarg Society. It is humbly
submitted that the present complaint is baseless and unfounded and
the chances of conviction of the Petitioners after a trial are very bleak.
I. Because the Honble High Court ought to have granted protection to
the Petitioners as by a mere perusal of the FIR filed by the
complainant, it becomes evident that there is no merit in his allegations.
The same is politically motivated solely for the purpose of harassing the
Petitioners and disrupting their bona fide efforts for espousing the
cause of the communal-riot victims of Gujarat.
J. Because the Honble High Court erred in law as well as in fact in not
considering that the Petitioners are Journalists by profession and are
responsible citizens of the society. There is no reason to believe that
the Petitioners would not co-operate with the investigation and
administration of justice. The present case does not warrant custodial
interrogation as the matter is based on documentary evidence and the
Petitioners are ready and willing to participate in the investigation.
K. Because the Honble High Court ought to have considered that grave
injustice would be caused to the Petitioners in case Anticipatory Bail is
not granted to them as the allegations made out against them are false
and baseless and there is no reason to take them in custody. Their
arrest would cause an irreparable injury with regard to their reputation

and unnecessary harassment which is the sole intention of the


complainant.
L. Because this is a fit case for granting Anticipatory Bail to the Petitioners
as not only are the Petitioners being falsely implicated in the complaint
which has been made with a mala fide intention, but there is also no
reason for disbelieving that the Petitioners would interfere in any
manner with the administration of justice or the investigation.
M. The Honble Supreme Court in SiddharamSatlingappaMhetre v. State
of Maharashtra &Ors., (2011) 1 SCC 694,

has laid down certain

guidelines for granting Anticipatory Bail and the present matter satisfies
all the criterion for being granted protection from this Honble Court.

6.

GROUND FOR INTERIM RELIEF


A. Because the Petitioners liberty at stake and they are likely to be
arrested any point in time;
B. Because the Petitioners have a good case on merits and the petition
would become infructuous in case immediate protection is not granted;
C. Because the Petitioners are likely to be physically harassed and
abused under the hands of the police of the State of Gujarat and there
is an apprehension that Petitioner No.1 could be bodily harmed given
the history with the police which has warranted this Honble Court to
grant her protection;
D. Because the Petitioners family are currently being harassed and this
harassment would continue if an ex parte interim order is not granted;

7.

MAIN PRAYER
It is respectfully prayed that this Honble Court may be pleased
to:

(a)

grant special leave to appeal against the impugned judgment and final
order dated February 12, 2015 passed by the Honble High Court of
Gujarat in Criminal Misc. Application No.4677 of 2014; and

(b)

pass such other/further order, as this Honble Court may deem fit and
proper in the facts and circumstances of the present case.

8.

PRAYER FOR INTERIM RELIEF:


It is respectfully prayed that this Honble Court may be pleased
to:
a)

grant stay of arrest of the Petitioners in the FIR being C.R.No.


1 of 2014 registered by DCP, Crime Branch, Ahmedabad.

b)

pass such other/further order, as this Honble Court may deem


fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the present
case.
DRAWN AND FILED BY:(APARNA BHAT)
Advocate for the Petitioners

Drawn on; 12.2.2015


Filed on: 12.2.2015
New Delhi

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO.

OF 2015

(Against the Final Order and Judgment dated February 12, 2015
passed by the Honble High Court of Gujarat rendered in Criminal
Miscellaneous Application No. 4677 of 2014.)
IN THE MATTER OF:
Teesta Atul Setalvad & Anr.

Petitioners
Versus

Stateof Gujarat

Respondent
PAPER BOOK
Along with

Crl.M.P No.
of 2015
Application for exemption from filing certified or
ordinary copy of the impugned order
with
Crl.M.P No.
of 2015
Application for Exemption from Filing Official Translation

(FOR DETAILED INDEX: KINDLY SEE INSIDE)

ADVOCATE FOR THE PETITIONERS: MS. APARNA BHAT

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA


CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO.

OF 2015

(Against the Final Order and Judgment dated February 12, 2015
passed by the Honble High Court of Gujarat rendered in Criminal
Miscellaneous Application No. 4677 of 2014.)
IN THE MATTER OF:
Teesta Atul Setalvad & Anr.

Petitioners
Versus

Stateof Gujarat

Respondent
CERTIFICATE

Certified that the special leave petition is confined to the pleadings


before

the

Court

whose

order

is

challenged

and

no

other

document/documents are relied upon in those proceedings. It is further


certified that the copies of the documents/annexures annexed to the
special leave petition are necessary to answer the questions of law
raised in the petition or to make out grounds urged in the special leave
petition for consideration of this Honble Court. This certificate is given
on the basis of instruction given by the person authorized by the
petitioner whose affidavit is filed in support of the special leave petition.
FILED BY:
Aparna Bhat
Advocate for the Petitioners
12.2.2015
New Delhi