//Zaheera to appear before court on April 7

Zaheera to appear before court on April 7

Zaheera to appear before court on April 7Sunday, April 2, 2006 (Mumbai): The prime witness in the Best Bakery case Zaheera Sheikh would be produced before a sessions court on April 7 to respond to the show cause notice issued to her for giving false evidence during the retrial.

Zaheera’s brother Nasibullah, mother Sehrinusa and sister Sahira would also appear on the same day before the court to reply to the charges of perjury.

Zaheera, currently serving jail term imposed on her by Supreme Court for committing contempt, had surrendered on March 10.  The apex 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.

Fair trial During the communal flare up in Gujarat following the Sabarmati Express train carnage, Best Bakery was set afire on March 1, 2002, by a violent crowd in Vadodara, killing 14 persons who had taken refuge in the premises.

Zaheera, who along with her family survived the fire, had moved the apex court alleging that all the 21 accused in the case had been acquitted by a Gujarat court 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.

While ordering retrial, the apex court had quashed the lower court order acquitting 21 persons. Four of them were untraceable and 17 were brought to Mumbai for retrial.

The Mumbai court on February 24 had sentenced nine accused to life imprisonment and acquitted eight others due to lack of evidence.

The court also issued notices to Zaheera and her family members to show cause as to why action should not be taken against them for perjury. (PTI)