Misappropriation of funds by Teesta Setalvad: Gujarat Govt. to SC
Gujarat Government's counsel on Wednesday accused noted social activist Teesta Setalvad for spending the money meant for Gujarat riots victims on liquor and her personal expenses.
Both the parties hit out at each other with Teesta stating that the state government was trying to paralyze its NGO's activities.
Teesta was appearing in SC for hearing of her plea for defreezing of her bank accounts.
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"Didn't use government's money on liquor": Teesta Setalvad
Teesta accused of using NGO's funds for personal expenses
Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta who is appearing for Gujarat government, told bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar that Teesta had used NGO's fund for personal purposes, including liquor expenses.
The judges' bench which had assembled to hear Teesta's plea for defreezing of her bank accounts was further told by Mehta how liquor expenses were carried in the name of secular education.
Residents of Gulberg Society allege fraud by Teesta Setalvad
The complaint against Teesta Setalvad was filed by one of the residents of Gulberg society who alleged that the funds collected by their NGOs for building a memorial for those killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots was spent for personal use.
Following this, an FIR was lodged on charges of cheating, breach of trust and misappropriation of funds.
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Arguments by Teesta
Only Rs. 7,850 was spent on liquor: Teesta Setalvad
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal and lawyer Aparna Bhatt appearing for Teesta and her husband Javed Anand, told the bench that all expenditure, including money spent on liquor, was approved by Ford Foundation which donated the money.
They further argued that it wasn't a crime to spend on dining when it's done from one's own pocket stating that only Rs. 7,850 was spent on liquor.
State Govt.'s counter
Custodial interrogation is required: Gujarat government to SC
The state government counsel argued that both of Teesta's NGOs- Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace had siphoned off money and hence custodial interrogation was needed for Teesta and her husband Javed.
Challenging Teesta's argument, ASG Mehta further put forth the complaint filed by a Gulberg Society resident which stated money being used by her NGO for personal expenses.
Teesta Setalvad's bank accounts were frozen by Gujarat government
The Ministry for Home Affairs (MHA) had suspended the registration of the Teesta Setalvad run Sabrang Trust under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of 2010.
The decision came after it was found that the NGO had allegedly used foreign funds for malafide purposes.
Investigations revealed that funds were received from Ford Foundation which was also under the scanner of the Union Home Ministry.
Who is Teesta Setalvad?
Teesta Setalvad: A social activist or a fraud?
A Padma Shri awardee, Teesta Setalvad is a social activist and journalist, reporting on hate politics against other religions perpetrated by the Hindu right wing groups.
Teesta along with her husband Javed Anand runs two NGOs: Sabrang Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP).
Teesta and her NGO were later accused of misappropriating funds meant for Gujarat riot victims.