Ahmedabad: A local court on Friday rejected pleas filed by activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and their two NGOs seeking to de-freeze their bank accounts attached earlier by police in connection with an alleged embezzlement case.
The court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate MH Patel said de-freezing of the bank accounts may affect the investigation into the case.
The court in its order also observed the accused persons did not cooperate with the investigation.
The three bank accounts in Union of Bank of India and IDBI Bank were frozen by the city crime branch after it began investigating the case wherein Teesta and others are accused of misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 1.51 crore, raised for construction of a museum at Gulberg Society, the site of one of the bloodiest incidents in 2002 riots.
Bank accounts of Teesta's NGOs, namely Sabrang and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), were also frozen by the city crime branch.
The complaint in this regard had been filed by one of the residents of Gulberg Society, Firoz Khan Pathan alleging the money raised to construct the museum in memory of those killed during the communal riots were not utilised for the said purpose.
An FIR had been registered on January 5 under Sections 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 406 (fraud) and 420 (cheating) of IPC against Teesta, Anand, Tanvir Jafri, son of ex-Congress MP Ehsan Jafri who was one of the victims of Gulbarg massacre, Gulberg Society chairman Salim Sandhi and its secretary Feroz Gulzar for allegedly usurping Rs 1.51 crore.
During hearing of the case, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Ajay Choksi, on behalf of the prosecution agency the city crime branch, had submitted that the accused in the case had transferred Rs 36 lakh to another bank account even after these accounts were frozen by police.
Alleging that part of money was used for "personal spending", Choksi had said some bank accounts were not audited for more than five years.
In her submission filed through advocate Mihir Desai, Teesta alleged this action of Gujarat police is vindictive and taken at the behest of the state government because she took the side of the victims of the 2002 riots.
Teesta had said that no offence under Sections 420 or 406 of IPC could be made out against herself and others as the bank accounts were audited at regular intervals as prescribed under legal provisions.
69 people, including Zafri, were killed by a mob at Gulberg Society here on February 28, 2002 after the Godhra train burning incident.