Gujarat riots: SIT files chargesheet against Teesta Setalvad and two others in case of ‘fabricating evidence’

Reported By:DNA Web Team| Edited By: DNA Web Team |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Sep 21, 2022, 06:17 PM IST

(Left to Right) Activist Teesta Setalvad, Retired DGP R B Sreekumar and Former IPS Officer Sanjiv Bhatt

The Gujarat Special Investigation Team has filed a chargesheet against activist Teesta Setalvad, retired DGP R B Sreekumar and former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in Ahmedabad magistrate’s court in case of alleged fabrication of evidence in connection with Gujarat riots cases. 

Investigating Officer and Assistant Commissioner of Police B V Solanki said that the chargesheet had been filed on Tuesday. Former IPS officer-turned-lawyer Rahul Sharma has also been made a witness in the case, he added.

The accused have been charged under sections 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 194 (giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offence) and 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture) of the IPC, among other provisions. 

The FIR had been lodged against them by the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch on the same charges based on a Supreme Court verdict that upheld the clean chit to then chief minister Narendra Modi, his council of ministers and bureaucrats on their role in the 2002 riots.

Setalvad, arrested in the last week of June, was released on interim bail following a September 2 order of the Supreme Court. Sreekumar remains lodged in the jail in the case. The third accused, Bhatt is in a jail in Palanpur where he is serving life sentence in a custodial death case.

The 2002 Gujarat riots were triggered by the torching of a coach of Sabarmati Express by a mob near Godhra station on February 27 that year. Fifty-nine passengers, mostly Hindu Karsevaks returning from Ayodhya, were charred to death in the incident.

Setalvad and Sreekumar have been accused of fabricating evidence to frame “innocent people” in the post-Godhra riots cases. While Setalvad was granted interim bail, Sreekumar remains lodged in the Sabarmati central jail and has also applied for bail.

Bhatt, the third accused in the case, has not applied for bail. He was already in jail for another criminal matter when he was arrested in this case.

They were arrested by the Ahmedabad city crime branch in June after a First Information Report (FIR) was registered against them under Indian Penal Code sections 468 (forgery for cheating) and 194 (fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction for capital offences).

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