The Ahmedabad police have accused activist Teesta Setalvad, her husband Javed Anand of Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and the Sabrang Trust of misusing funds meant for constructing a museum at Gulberg Society towards buying wine and liquor, movie tickets, high-end jewellery, clothes, shoes and other personal stuff. The museum was meant to be built in memory of those who died in the Gulberg Society massacre during the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Armed with credit card statements of Teesta, who has been fighting for justice for the 2002 riot victims, and Anand's bank accounts, the crime branch of Ahmedabad police on Tuesday filed a rejoinder (dna has a copy), opposing the anticipatory bail of the duo. The Ahmedabad court is expected to give its order on March 25. Crime branch sleuths have sought Teesta and Anand's custodial examination, calling it "imperative" given the circumstances under which "huge funds" have been transferred to their personal accounts and fixed deposits from the money meant to be used for the trust.
Anand said the affidavit was yet another "mala fide and malicious move" by the Gujarat police. He said the money was being transferred from the trust into their personal accounts as "reimbursement" for expenses incurred by them strictly for "official purposes". Anand, however, owned the bank statements.
"Since we cannot hold a credit card in the name of the trust, we incur several expenses meant for the trust such as travelling for legal cases to Delhi, Ahmedabad, etc, using our credit cards. The amount is later reimbursed by the trust," said Anand, who dared the Ahmedabad police to prove the charges. "Our personal and official expenditure is maintained separately and meticulously. There cannot be even one instance of us using trust money for our personal expenses."
The account details also revealed that Rs1.38 lakh from the fund money was transferred into the account of Teesta and Anand's daughter, Tamara. Anand defends it, saying his daughter is paid Rs7,500 per month by the trust for the documentation work done by her.
The police have also questioned the need for the accused to change credit cards every year. "The investigation has revealed very interesting facts related to three cards of Citibank - 552093803102XXXX, 552093804520XXXX & 549852051066XXX - belonging to Teesta Setalvad. "The first card was issued in August 2009 and terminated in September 2010; the second issued in September 2010 and closed in June 2012 and the third, which was issued in June 2012, is active active to date. A total of Rs14.20 lakh has been paid towards credit card dues from the FCRA & SB accounts of Citizens for Justice and Peace of which Teesta and Anand are chief trustees into these accounts. It appears that the change of credit cards every year was intentional to avoid scrutiny by income tax authorities," reads the affidavit.
Rs1,33,44,248 - Total donation received by Sabrang Trust
Rs1,15,64,687 – Foreign donations received by CJP
Rs4,66,83,642 - Total local donation received by CJP
Rs7.16 crore - Total donation
Total amount transferred to:
Teesta Setalvad Rs32,09,524
Javed Anand Rs20,62,675
Sabrang Communication Pvt Ltd Rs1,20,14,356
Tamara Setalvad (couple's daughter) Rs1,38,270
Cash withdrawal Rs75,28,000
Credit card payment of Teesta from CJP Rs14,20,000
Credit card payment of Javed Anand from Sabrang Trust Rs2,97,924
(Source: Affidavit filed by Ahmedabad police in court)