Once again, some opposition chief ministers have filed petitions against their Governors in the Supreme Court for allegedly exceeding their roles.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday suppressed a July 1 order of the Gujarat High Court directing activist Teesta Setalvad to surrender immediately in a forgery case linked to the 2002 riots. The apex court said Ms. Setalvad would continue on bail in accordance with a September 2, 2022 order of the Supreme Court.
Ms. Setalvad was arrested from Mumbai on June 25 last year by a team of Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad officers. Her arrest was based on an FIR registered in Gujarat the previous day.
Teesta Setalvad is an Indian civil rights activist and journalist. She is the secretary of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), an organisation formed to advocate for the victims of 2002 Gujarat riots.
Setalvad was born 9 February 1962 into a Gujarati family, her father name is Atul Setalvad, a Mumbai-based lawyer, and her mother name is Sita Setalvad. Her paternal grandfather was M. C. Setalvad, India’s first Attorney General. Setalvad married Javed Anand, a journalist turned minority rights activist. They have two children, a daughter and a son.
She studied in law college for two years, dropped out and then graduated with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Bombay University in 1983 and started work as a journalist. She started her journey as a journalist from very famous newspaper and later worked for Busines magazine. Her first brush with communal violence came when she covered the 1984 riots in 1984 in Bhiwandi.
In 1993, in response to the Hindu-Muslim riots in Mumbai, she and her husband quit their regular jobs to start Communalism Combat, a monthly magazine.
Setalvad and her husband, along with others such as Father Cedric Prakash (a catholic priest), Anil Dharker (a journalist), Alyque Padamsee, Javed Akhtar, Vijay Tendulkar and Rahul Bose (all film & theatre personalities) set up an NGO named “Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)” on 1 April 2002.
The NGO forthwith began to prosecute in various courts against the alleged complicity of the Chief Minister and government of Gujarat state in the riots that had broken out shortly before. Their efforts met with partial success in April 2004, when the Supreme Court of India transferred the “Best Bakery case” to the neighbouring state of Maharashtra.
At the same time, the court also overturned the recent acquittal of 21 accused and ordered that the investigation and trial be conducted afresh. By 2013, all the cases filed by CPJ had been dismissed at three levels of the judiciary (trial court, state High Court and the Indian Supreme Court) and only one appeal is pending. This is an appeal to the Supreme Court against a conviction handed out by the High Court to Maya Kodnani, a former minister in the government of Gujarat.