Ahmedabad: The Ahmedabad crime branch today opposed an anticipatory bail plea of social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand at a sessions court in the Rs 1.4 crore alleged fund embezzlement case.
City sessions court judge P J Tamakuwala concluded the hearing on the bail plea and reserved the order for May 23.
Opposing the bail plea, the crime branch claimed that the couple had misused the money for their “personal and political cause”.
The crime branch is investigating the case on the basis of an FIR lodged in Ahmedabad on March 30 this year.
In its submission, the crime branch said the accused misused the fund granted to their NGO Sabrang Trust by Union HRD Ministry between 2010 and 2013 for educational purpose, “to pay witnesses in serious cases in Gujarat (2002 riot cases) to make false deposition”.
During this period, Setalvad worked as field co-coordinator for her NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, while her husband Javed Anand as the trustee of Sabrang Trust.
The ministry had granted Rs 1.4 crore between 2010 and 2013 to the NGO for a scheme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, as per the submission.
Complainant Raees Khan Pathan had lodged an FIR against Setalvad, Anand and some unidentified officials of the HRD Ministry under various sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
In its submission, the crime branch stated that the investigation was at a sensitive stage and the accused were capable of affecting evidence against them if they were prevented from arrest.
Under the ‘Khoj project’, the Sabrang Trust published literatures and pamphlets that spread communal hatred which were against the Constitution and judiciary, which is “dangerous for country’s unity”, it said.
Setalvad pitched for the fund by misusing her position as a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education of HRD Ministry, it said.
“Most of the fund was spent for personal use.Money was transferred in the personal account and used for personal and political works,” the submission said.
The Supreme Court had last month granted temporary relief to Setalvad and Anand by extending their interim protection from arrest and transit anticipatory bail from May 2 to May 31, granted to them by the Bombay High Court.
The apex court had also directed the couple to approach the competent court in Gujarat for securing anticipatory bail, following which they filed the plea in Ahmedabad.