Mumbai: Zaheera Sheikh, the prime witness in the Best Bakery case, broke down in tears in a Mumbai court on Monday and sought Judge Abhay Thipsey’s permission to say something in camera.
The judge granted the same and asked all those present in the courtroom, including reporters, to leave.
After recording her statements, the court sent Zaheera to judicial custody till March 16. Zaheera’s fresh statements have, however, added new suspense to the case.
Meanwhile, the court has sought clarifications on the Supreme Court order, sentencing her to one-year imprisonment for perjury.
The court also asked the police not to send Zaheera to Gujarat and assured her of adequate security.
Judge Abhay Thipsay said the Supreme Court order does not indicate the manner in which the sentence has to be executed.
The judge noted that the Supreme Court order does not give directions to Gujarat police to apprehend Zaheera and keep her in a prison in Gujarat.
"Since Zaheera specifically stated that she should not be handed over to Gujarat police and instead lodged in prison in Maharashtra, it would not be proper on part of this court to hand her over to Gujarat police," the judge observed.
"Under the circumstances, it would be fit and appropriate for this court to seek directions from Supreme Court as to the manner in which Zaheera should undergo her sentence," he said.
The court sent her in custody, till March 16, pending clarification from the Apex Court.
Zaheera had surrendered before a Mazgaon court in Mumbai on Friday after the Supreme Court had sentenced her to one-year in jail for contempt of court.
On Monday, she was produced in court at the end of her two-day police remand.
Earlier on Saturday, she had pleaded before the court that she may be sent to a Maharashtra jail and not in Gujarat as she feared for her life.
She pleaded that she had confidence and faith in the Mumbai court, which conducted her trial, and hence she decided to surrender before it in keeping with the Apex Court order.
Judge Abhay Thipsay is scheduled to decide on Monday on her application on serving jail sentence in Maharashtra and not in Gujarat.
Before Zaheera surrendered, she had gone into hiding from her relative’s residence at suburban Bhayander in nearby Thane district following the Apex Court verdict.
The Supreme Court had sentenced Zaheera to one-year jail term and fined her Rs 50,000 for her flip-flops in the Best Bakery trial and for changing her version frequently.
The Supreme Court severely reprimanded Zaheera for turning hostile during the trial and accepted the report of the high-powered inquiry committee, which had indicted her as a ‘self-condemned liar’.