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Apex court questions Gujarat on probe against Setalvad

Monday January 30, 2012 09:33:52 PM, IANS

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday asked the Gujarat government why it was recording statements of witnesses alleging that social activist Teesta Setalvad doctored affidavits of victims of the 2002 riots when the proceedings had already been stayed by the court.

The apex court bench of Justice Aftab Alam and Justice R.P. Desai asked the state government standing counsel Hemantika Wahi why the statements were being recorded.

Wahi told the court that the statements were recorded after the Gujarat High Court verdict permitting the probe and just before the apex court's interim order staying it.

The apex court query came in the wake of witnesses' statements annexed by the Gujarat government with its affidavit before the court.

Appearing for Setalvad, senior counsel Sanjay Parikh told the court that the statements being made now against the social activist, who represents activists' group Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), were untrue.

As Parikh told the court that he would require some more time to argue the case, the court adjourned the hearing with a direction for listing the case in July.

The case is rooted in a confession by Setalvad's former colleague in CJP, Rais Khan Pathan, before a magistrate. Pathan alleged that he along with Setalvad doctored the affidavits filed by Gujarat riot victims.

He also told the magistrate that both of them had doctored documents containing fabricated evidence presented before different courts hearing riots case.

The magistrate later ordered probe into the allegations.

The order of probe by police was challenged by the civil and sessions court registrar before the Gujarat High Court contending that after the confessional statement the magistrate should have taken the cognizance of the matter.

The high court July 11, 2011 gave a go-ahead to the probe ordered by the magistrate. The order of the high court was stayed by the apex court Sep 2, 2011.






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