Social activist Teesta Setalvad moves Gujarat HC, seeks quashing of FIR over Twitter post

Ahmedabad(PTI): Social activist Teesta Setalvad on Tuesday filed a petition before the Gujarat High Court seeking setting aside of a complaint against her for uploading allegedly objectionable picture of Hindu deities on Twitter.

A first information report, based on the complaint of VHP activist Raju Patel, was filed against Setalvad at Ghatlodia police station here last August. The petition would be heard by Justice Mohinder Pal on July 9.

Setalvad had twitted a photoshopped picture of ISIS terrorists with the slain American journalist James Foley with a religious image in the backdrop. Later she removed it.

The FIR charges her with Indian Penal Code sections 153(a) (promoting enmity between religious groups) and 205(a) (outraging religious feelings) with sections of Information Technology Act.

Setalvad, known for championing the cause of 2002 post-Godhra riot victims in Gujarat, had recently sought more time from a local court to re-deposit her passport because she wanted to visit Brazil to attend a conference. But the plea was rejected. She has moved the HC over this issue too.

Her passport was deposited with the court when she obtained pre-arrest bail in the present case. The High Court, meanwhile, has also issued notices to the state government, crime branch of police and two banks with regard to Setalvad’s plea for condonation of delay in filing appeal in the matter of attachment of her bank accounts.

It would be heard by Justice Mohinder Pal on July 27. Setalvad had last month moved the HC seeking to de-freeze her bank accounts. The accounts were attached in a case in which she is accused of collecting Rs 1.51 crore for a museum for Gulberg Housing Society riot victims but misusing the money.

The crime branch of police has attached the accounts of Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand and two of their NGOs. A metropolitan court had in November last year rejected the plea to de-freeze the accounts. Setalvad moved the HC but the appeal was filed 90 days after the order, so she is seeking condonation of delay.