In a breather to social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, the Bombay High Court today granted the duo 17-day interim relief from arrest in a CBI case alleging that her company received Rs 1.8 crore from abroad without mandatory approval from Centre.
Justice Mridula Bhatkar, while granting Teesta and her husband Javed Anand interim protection from arrest till August 10, said the duo was already given protection by the sessions court.
Teesta and Anand moved the high court seeking anticipatory bail after a special CBI court today rejected their pre-arrest bail pleas and also refused to extend the interim relief granted to them earlier on July 17.
“At this stage I do not want to go into merits. Is there any chance of the accused persons absconding? If no, then interim protection can be granted for a period of two weeks,” Justice Bhatkar said.
The court directed Teesta and her husband to appear before the office of Economic Offences Wing of CBI on July 27 and 30 and on August 3 and 6 for recording their statement from 12pm to 3pm.
The court refused to agree to the CBI’s demand to direct the duo to appear before the agency everyday.
“They (Teesta and Javed) have been appearing before you (CBI) from July 17. You must have done some investigation. Everyday appearance is not required,” Justice Bhatkar said.
Public Prosecutor Sandeep Shinde, appearing for CBI, argued that the offence was of a serious nature and custodial interrogation was required.
The court has posted their anticipatory bail petitions for final hearing on August 10.
Soon after the sessions court rejected her bail pleas, Teesta told the court that she was shocked and aggrieved.
“I am shocked and aggrieved by the verdict as this is a petty offence. My sympathisers feel that this is an attempt (by the government) to intimidate and possibly eliminate us by the powers (sic),” she said.
The CBI had on July 8 registered a case against Teesta and Anand alleging that her firm Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited (SCPPL) received around 2.9 lakh USD in foreign donations in violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).