Fighting dirty

The long knives are out for Teesta Setalvad. She has  to fight communal forces on one hand and paid news organizations on the other hand. There will be no expectation of even-handedness, even fairness and independence in journalism.

Press Release specifically counters the malicious lies in the Affidavit
in Sur-Rejoinder filed by KN Patel, IO Crime Branch for the Respondent
State of Gujarat dated 18.03.2014 in Ahmedabad (and replicated with few
changes in Mumbai dated 19.03.2014). For those newspapers/publications
that published screaming headlines of us misusing funds, without
contacting any office bearers for clarifications, we appeal in the
interests of both fair and independent journalism and basic honesty to
print this Rebuttal with the same enthusiasm and prominence.

In a counter affidavit filed by her in the Sessions Court in
Ahmedabad on March 21, 2014, in response to the affidavit in
sur-rejoinder filed by the Gujarat police, Teesta Setalvad, Secretary,
Citizens for Justice and Peace, has accused the Gujarat police of once
again resorting to blatant falsehoods, twisted facts, deliberate
jugglery of accounts and foul innuendos, with the malicious intent of
colouring the public discourse and prejudice the public mind.
What is
most shocking is the brazen manner in which the Gujarat police continue
to spread falsehoods through signed affidavits, indicating callous
disregard of the justice process. This is nothing short of perjury.


It is evident from the affidavits filed by the Gujarat police that they
are in full possession of all our audited accounts, bank accounts
(organizational and personal) and personal credit card bills. All of
these have been obtained through highly questionable means,
which itself
is a subject for investigation. That apart, the foul intent and malice
of the Gujarat police is more than evident from the fact that despite
being in possession of dubiously acquired information it continues to
heap falsehood upon falsehood

Neither CJP nor Sabrang Trust has any debit/credit cards in their
respective names. For logistical convenience, with the full knowledge
and consent of the trustees and auditors of the two trusts, air and
train tickets are frequently booked online (using the personal credit
cards of Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand). It is only such expenses
strictly related to the legitimate activities which are reimbursed by
Sabrang Trust and CJP after due verification. 

Despite being fully aware
of this fact, the Gujarat police have claimed, with obvious dubious
motive, that a host of personal expenses, including hair-cuts, purchase
of grocery, shoes, jewellery etc. have been paid for by the trusts.

Such expenses met out of public funds should “shock the conscience of
the court”, claims the sur-rejoinder. If anything, it is the blatant
lies on oath repeatedly indulged by the police that should stir the
conscience of court.


CJP and Sabrang Trust emphatically and categorically deny the claim made
in the affidavit in sur-rejoinder that cash withdrawals from the two
trusts totalling Rs. 75,28,000 (over many years) have been siphoned off
or pocketed by Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand.
That this too is an
entirely baseless allegation can be established through the accounts
books and cash vouchers of both CJP and Sabrang Trust.


Similarly, the sur-rejoinder claims that funds from the bank accounts of
CJP and Sabrang Trust running into lakhs have been transferred into
fixed deposits in the “family personal names” of Teesta Setalvad and
Javed Anand. CJP and Sabrang Trust challenge the Gujarat police to
provide evidence of even a single rupee thus transferred from the bank
accounts of either of the two trusts into fixed deposits in personal
Instead, the Gujarat police, functioning in nexus with one family
of the Gulberg society and a former employee of CJP cited as “witness”
in the specious FIR, is functioning at the behest of the political
bigwigs in the state who are seriously affected by the persistent
struggle for justice aided by CJP.

The sur-rejoinder reiterates that only Rs. 2.49 lakh was spent on Legal
Aid expenses. We challenge the Gujarat police to provide proof of this
totally bogus claim. CJP has spent over Rs. 2 crore (nearly hundred
times the police claim) on Legal Aid to the victims-survivors of the
state-sponsored Gujarat pogrom and this can easily be established
through accounts books, voucher files and annually audited accounts.

This deliberate underestimation is deliberate and meant to prejudice the
public mind.

I.M. Kadri Nandan Maluste Teesta Setalvad Cyrus Guzder
Javed Akhtar Alyque Padamsee Anil Dharker
Ghulam Pesh Imam
Javed Anand  Rahul Bose Cedric Prakash


Brown Pundits