Gujarat accuses Teesta of tutoring riot witnesses | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Gujarat accuses Teesta of tutoring riot witnesses

delhi Updated: Apr 17, 2010 00:43 IST
Bhadra Sinha
Bhadra Sinha
Hindustan Times
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The Gujarat government on Friday demanded registration of an FIR against activist Teesta Setalvad for interfering with the investigation into the 2002 riot cases by filing false affidavits of "tutored witnesses" before the Supreme Court.

In an affidavit filed in the top court, the state government also questioned the SC-appointed special investigating team's (SIT) decision to question Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the Ehsaan Jafri murder case.

Accusing Teesta of "tarnishing" the state's image, the Modi government sought action against non-government organisations (NGOs) for their "unlawful interference" in statutory proceedings.

The 68-page affidavit has been filed in response to Teesta's plea for a stay on the trial of nine cases related to the Godhra riots and their transfer to the CBI. The SC will consider it on Monday.

The SC had on April 27, 2009, directed the SIT to look into the petition of slain Congress MP Ehsaan Jafri's widow Zakia who accused Modi and 62 others of involvement in the murder of her husband. Teesta was the co-petitioner in this case. The SC later constituted the SIT.

According to the affidavit, though the court order required the SIT to only look into Jafri's complaint, it had "called persons named therein and recorded their statements, which was neither permissible in law nor contemplated in the aforesaid order (of the SC)."

Opposing the stay of trial in the nine cases, it also questioned Teesta's belated move against the SIT. The state said she filed the application at a time when trial in most cases had reached a crucial stage and the witnesses, allegedly tutored by Teesta, were required to be cross examined. This was clear from the statement of a witness before the SIT in the Naroda Gam case.

Her efforts to malign the Gujarat government failed with the SIT refusing to accept pre-judged and pre-typed copies of witnesses' statements, it added.

Zakia's complaint accusing Modi of being involved in her husband's murder case was belated and appeared to be a well-drafted "legal document."