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Teesta misused victims’ fund for shopping, wine

| | AHMEDABAD
Teesta misused victims’ fund for shopping, wine

Court reserves order on bail for March 25

An affidavit, submitted by the Ahmedabad Crime Branch (ACB) to oppose bail of social activist Teesta Setalvad, has shocking revelation of misuse of riot victims’ fund on shopping, including buying wine.

The court has reserved the order and fixed March 25, 2014 for the pronouncement of judgement. The investigation officer (IO) has revealed shocking details pertaining to the expenses incurred by Setalvad that include shopping for foreign goods, entertainment, domestic requirements and even wine and liquor from the fund collected in the names of victims of Gujarat riots.

Total amount of Rs 14.20 lakh has been paid towards the credit card dues from the FCRA & SB Accounts of Citizen for Justice and Peace (CJP) of which Teesta and her husband Javed are trustees, said the affidavit. The most shocking revelations, according to ACB, are the payments made by Setalvad from the CJPs account towards wine and liquor.

Nailing Setalvad’s claims of her spending “strictly in accordance with the budget lines approved and authorised by Board of Trustees”, KN Patel, Assistant Commissioner of Police of ACB (Cyber Crime Cell) opposed anticipatory bail of Teesta and her husband Javed Anand and submitted a detail rejoinder. Special public prosecutor Ajay Choksi argued on the behalf of ACB in Ahmedabad sessions court.

IO stated that City Bank card details portray a shocking picture of how expenses of absolutely personal nature have been undertaken and sought to be explained away as miscellaneous expenses. Huge expenditure have been made such as purchase of branded shoes, monthly hair styling expenses from costly hair designers. Apart from purchase of clothes from branded showrooms in Rome and Islamabad, she did online shopping too. The affidavit also mentioned the purchase of electronic goods, jewellery and dining expenses at several prestigious restaurants.

The investigation has revealed the facts related to three Credit Cards of Citi Bank having number —5520938031023006, 5520938045202125 & 5498520510664506 — which belong to Teesta Setalvad.

Citi Bank Credit Card number 5520938031023006 was issued in August 2009 and was closed in September 2010. Card number 5520938045202125 was issued in September 2010 and closed in June 2012 and card number 5498520510664506 was issued in June 2012 which is active till date. The change of Credit Cards every year was intentional to avoid any scrutiny by the Income Tax Authorities. Whether the Board of Trustees of Sabrang Trust and CJP have ever authorised to Teesta and Javed, as repeatedly claimed by them, to meet such purely personal expenditure is a subject matter of investigation, it says.

The police says that it will investigate as to how the Chartered Accountant, who has audited the accounts of these two trusts, failed to notice that the trustees are using the trust fund for personal purposes too.

However, the police has submitted a summary of the  total funds received by CJP and Sabrang Trust vis-à-vis amount transferred by them to their personal family accounts, Sabrang Trust received  nearly Rs 1,33 crore, CJP received foreign donation Rs 1.15 crore, CJP received local donation Rs 4.66 crore. Total donation received was Rs 7.16 crores. Of these nearly Rs 2.67 crore were transferred to the accounts of Teesta, her husband Javed and their daughter Tamara.

Officials further added that the donations received for public purposes cannot be permitted to be frittered away towards shopping, entertainment and such other expenses of a purely personal nature.

The police have also taken a serious objection to Teesta on dragging the name of Gujarat’s CM Narendra Modi. Officials said that there is a prima facie case against the accused and their custodial interrogation is imperative to examine the manner in which the huge funds have been transferred to their personal accounts. They have also not co-operated with the investigation.

Total amount transferred

Teesta Setalvad                Rs 32,09,524

Javed Anand      Rs 20,62,675

Sabrang Communication Pvt. Ltd              Rs 1,20,14,356

Tamara Setalvad               Rs 1,38,270

Cash withdrawal               Rs 75,28,000      

Credit card payment of Teesta Setalvad

r From CJP           Rs 14,20,000

Credit Card payment of Javed Anand

From Sabrang Trust         Rs 2,97,924

Total      Rs 2.67 Crore        

 
 
 

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