Activist Teesta Setalvad moved the Supreme Court on Monday seeking the de-freezing of her bank accounts and those of her NGO by the Gujarat government.
The accounts were frozen in 2014 by the Gujarat police after it registered a criminal case against Setalvad for allegedly misappropriating funds collected by her Sabrang Trust. The funds were raised to construct a museum in memory of those killed in the Gulberg Society massacre during the aftermath of the 2002 Godhra riots.
Appearing for Setalvad, senior advocate Kapil Sibal told a bench headed by justice Dipak Misra that the police had denied the activist access to even those bank accounts that were not related to the allegations against her.
“The account related to Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and her personal accounts have also been frozen,” Sibal told the bench.
In response to justice Misra directing that Setalvad should wait for the investigation to end, Sibal said: “The probe is pending for two years. But it seems not to be ending.”
The bench then directed the Gujarat counsel to respond on August 17, but did not issue a formal notice to the state.
“If there is a violation, then it has to be investigated. We will give you the liberty to file afresh when the probe is over,” justice Misra said.
Setalvad’s petition challenges the Gujarat high court verdict that rejected her plea seeking the re-activation of her accounts. The order, given four months ago, was based on the grounds that the investigation was still underway.