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  India   All India  16 Dec 2017  Supreme Court refuses to de-freeze bank accounts of Testa Satalvad

Supreme Court refuses to de-freeze bank accounts of Testa Satalvad

Published : Dec 16, 2017, 1:15 am IST
Updated : Dec 16, 2017, 5:42 am IST

The court said the Centre for Justice and Peace Trust has not been named as an accused in the FIR.

Teesta Setalvad (Photo: PTI)
 Teesta Setalvad (Photo: PTI)

New Delhi: In a setback to social activist Teesta Setalvad, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with an order passed by the Gujarat police to freeze the nine bank accounts of her Trust, which is fighting for the victims of the 2002 communal riots cases.

A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Kanwilkar dismissed the appeals filed by Teesta and her husband against a Gujarat high court judgment refusing to lift the ban.  

Writing the judgment Justice Kanwilkar said, “there is no room to countenance the challenge to the action of seizure of bank account of any person which may be found under circumstances creating suspicion of the commission of any offence. In the present case, FIR has been registered at least against three private appellants, naming them as accused.”

The court said the Centre for Justice and Peace Trust has not been named as an accused in the FIR. But the investigation thus far, according to the respondents, reveals that Teesta Atul Setalvad and Javed Anand are actively associated with the said Trusts and have carried out transactions which may be found under circumstances suspicious of the commission of the alleged offence.

The Bench said for the present, the Investigating Officer is of the view that there are certain circumstances emerging from the transactions done from these bank accounts, which create suspicion of the commission of an offence.

It is on that belief he has exercised his discretion to issue directions to seize the bank accounts pertaining to CJP Trust.

The Bench while dismissing the plea said it would be open to the appellants to apply for de-freezing of the bank accounts and persuade the concerned Court that the said bank accounts are no more necessary for the purpose of investigation It will be open to the concerned Court to consider that request in accordance with law after hearing the investigating agency, including to impose conditions as may be warranted in the fact situation of the case.

The bank accounts, in all nine, of the appellants have been seized on the instructions of the Investigating Officer as a sequel to the complaint filed by the members of Gulberg Co-Operative Housing Society, Gujarat. The appellants contended that to justify the freezing of the bank accounts the investigating authority must demonstrate that the monies held in these accounts are connected with the commission of the offence. The investigation of the alleged offence has been a roving one and the police have investigated the entire accounts of the appellants even beyond the period referred to in the FIR. Further, the seized accounts have nothing to do with the subject matter of the FIR, they said and prayed for de-freezing the accounts.

Tags: teesta setalvad, supreme court, gujarat police, testa satalvad
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi