Four years after Gujarat riots, a Sessions court in Mumbai would on February 21 decide the fate of 17 accused held on the charge of torching the Best Bakery in Vadodara.The verdict would be delivered by Judge Abhay Thipsay who conducted the retrial in the Best Bakery carnage on the Supreme Court orders.
Altogether 17 accused are facing charges of rioting and murder of 14 people who had taken refuge in the Best Bakery on Hanuman Tekdi on March 1, 2002. Zaheera Shaikh, prime witness in the case, had moved the Supreme Court alleging that all the 21 accused in the case had been acquitted by the trial court in Gujarat as she had turned hostile because of threats issued to her.
The apex court, on April 12, 2004, asked a Mumbai court to conduct the retrial so that the accused were given a fair trial outside Gujarat and the witnesses deposed without any fear. While ordering retrial, the apex court had quashed the lower court order acquitting all the 21 accused. Four of them were untraceable and 17 were arrested and brought to Mumbai for retrial.