Ahmedabad, May 23 (PTI) The city sessions court today rejected the anticipatory bail plea of social activists Teesta Setalvad and her husband Javed Anand in Rs 1.4 crore alleged fund embezzlement case related to their NGO Sabrang Trust.

City civil and sessions judge P J Tamakuwala rejected the anticipatory bail plea moved by the duo in an FIR lodged against them on March 30 this year by complainant Raeeskhan Pathan.

“The court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Setalvad and Anand,” special public prosecutor Sudhir Brahmbhatt told PTI.

Opposing the bail plea, the crime branch had earlier claimed that the couple had misused the money granted to their NGO Sabrang Trust by the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development between 2010 and 2013 for educational purposes, for their “personal and political cause”.

In its submission, the crime branch had said that the accused misused the funds “to pay witnesses in serious cases in Gujarat (2002 riot cases) to make false deposition”.

During this period, Setalvad worked as field co-coordinator for her NGO Citizen for Justice and Peace, while her husband Javed Anand as the trustee of the Sabrang Trust.

The ministry had granted Rs 1.4 crore between 2010 and 2013 to the NGO for a scheme under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, as per the submission made by the Gujarat Police in the court opposing their plea.

Complainant Raees Khan Pathan, a former aide of Setalvad, had lodged an FIR against them and some unidentified officials of the HRD Ministry under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

In its submission, the crime branch had stated that the investigation was at a sensitive stage and the accused were capable of affecting evidences against them if they were prevented from arrest.

Under the ‘Khoj project’, the Sabrang Trust published literature and pamphlets that spread communal hatred which were against the Constitution and judiciary, which is “dangerous for country’s unity”, it said.

Setalvad pitched for fund by misusing her position as a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education of the HRD Ministry, police had said.

The Supreme Court had last month granted temporary relief to Setalvad and Anand by extending their interim protection from arrest and transit anticipatory bail from May 2 to May 31, granted to them by the Bombay High Court.

The apex court had said that the duo will not be arrested till May 31, but before that they would have to approach the competent court in the state which will decide the matter on merits.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.