09 May 2006 # ANI
Mumbai: The presiding judge of the Mazagaon Court today rejected the plea of Zaheera Sheikh, the prime witness in the Best Bakery case, to relief her of the year-long prison sentence handed down to her by the Supreme Court for contempt of court.
The court verdict came shortly after Zaheera and her family members pleaded not guilty to charges framed against her by a sessions court for giving false evidence in the Best Bakery case.
The trial of the case will commence on Wednesday. Zaheera, prime witness in the case, was brought to the court from Byculla jail in Mumbai. She is presently a one-year sentence imposed on her by the Supreme Court for contempt of court at Byculla.
The judge had read out the charges to Zaheera on the last occasion and explained the accusations against her and other members of her family.
Additional Sessions Judge Abhay Thipsay, who had conducted the retrial in Best Bakery case, told Zaheera she had falsely stated in court that she had not lodged the First Information Report (FIR) regarding the incident and that she was unaware of the document although it bore her signature.
Zaheera Sheikh, who is the prime witness in the Best Bakery case, was booked for contempt of court after repeated variations were found in her statement..
“The adjournment was sort, so that we can file revision application against this matter, against the judgement in the High Court, for that we need time. Second thing is that I have to go through the particular detail of the judgement. So that I can make the reply ready. Our reply is not yet ready, for that we have to have the copy of the judgement, when it is ready we have to go through it and study it then we can make up our mind. The charged have already been explained, so no separate time is granted, that is how it started, but I have moved an application for adjournment, sitting adjournment by months and stay. I want to file an application in the High Court against the order and guidelines that have been passed was not granted, stated that it has already been explained. So that no adjournment can be sought,” Umesh Deshpande, Zaheera’s lawyer.
Charges of perjury were also framed against Zaheera, her mother Shahrunnisa Sheikh and brother Nasimullah Shah, to which they pleaded not guilty.