MUMBAI, MAR 29 (PTI)
A sessions court today ordered Zaheera Shaikh, prime witness in the Best Bakery case, to undergo one-year’s imprisonment in a city prison to execute the Supreme Court order holding her guilty for contempt of court.
Judge Abhay Thipsay, before whom Zaheera had surrendered on March 10, said he could not wait any longer and was therefore sending her to jail to execute the apex court’s order which asked her to spend one year in prison and pay a fine of Rs 50,000.
The court noted that Zaheera had initially expressed her desire to serve the sentence in a Mumbai jail and later changed her stand saying she wanted to spend the term in a Gujarat prison. Hence, she was detained pending directions from the Supreme Court.
The judge made it clear that she was convicted by the apex court and had to undergo imprisonment. He also said his court had received a Supreme Court writ in this regard and the order was to be executed forthwith.
The court turned down the plea of Zaheera’s lawyer Umesh Deshpande to defer the decision for a week to enable the apex court decide the review petition filed by her urging reduction in sentence and leave to undergo jail term in Gujarat.
The judge was of the view that Zaheera could be shifted from the Mumbai jail to any other prison if the Supreme Court ordered. Under any circumstance, the sentence imposed by the apex court on Zaheera had to be executed immediately, he said.
In another development, the court deferred till April 7 the hearing on the show cause notices issued to Zaheera, her brother Nasibullah, mother Sahrinusa and sister Sahira on charges of perjury (giving false evidence).
The matter was adjourned as Zaheera’s mother and sister did not turn up. The court was told that they are observing mourning due to the death of Zaheera’s brother Nafitullah who also was issued such a notice.
Zaheera surrendered on March 10 two days after the Supreme Court held her guilty of contempt of court.
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.