Social activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand have approached the Gujarat High Court for de-freezing the bank accounts of their two NGOs – Sabrang trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace.
The bank accounts of Setalvad, Anand and the two NGOs were frozen by the city crime branch last year, soon after it began investigating an alleged embezzlement case wherein she was said to have collected Rs 1.51 crore from national and international donors promising to convert Gulbarg society to 2002 riots museum but later used the money for personal use.
Setalvad along with others had filed the plea before the High Court on June 24 and it is likely to come up for hearing before Justice Sonia Gokani on July 10.
They had challenged the order of a city metropolitan court, which had last November rejected their pleas to de-freeze the bank accounts and observed it may affect the investigation of the case.
The lower court in its order had also observed that the accused did not cooperate with the investigation of the case.
One of the residents of Gulbarg Society, Firoz Khan Pathan had filed a complaint against Setalwad and others alleging that money was raised to make a museum at Gulbarg Society in memory of those who were killed during the 2002 Gujarat riots but it had not been utilised for the purpose.
On January 5 last year, an FIR was lodged under IPC Section 120 (B) for criminal conspiracy, Section 406 (fraud) and Section 420 (cheating) against Setalwad, Anand, Tanvir Jafri, son of slain Congress MP Ehsan Jafri, chairman of Gulberg society Salim Sandhi and secretary of the society Feroz Gulzar for allegedly usurping Rs 1.51 crore.
Yesterday, the Centre had asked CBI to probe the receipt of over Rs 3 crore by her private firm Sabrang Communication and Publishing Pvt Limited (SCPPL) linked to her from foreign donors, including US-based Ford Foundation, in alleged violation of FCRA rules.
Government had also frozen the bank account of the firm located in Juhu, Mumbai, as the Home Ministry claimed that the firm was not authorised to receive funds from abroad as it was not registered under Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).
On 28 February, 2002, after the Godhra train carnage, 69 people including Ehsan Jafri, were killed by a mob at Gulbarg Society here during the riots.