Debating India

Zaheera fails to turn up at court

Wednesday 17 November 2004

MUMBAI: Prime witness in Best Bakery case Zaheera Shaikh did not appear before the trial court here Wednesday despite summons issued to her, but her counsel assured the judge that she would depose whenever required.

This is the second time that Zaheera and her brothers have been summoned by the court. Earlier, the witnesses failed to turn up before the court on November four and the court had issued fresh summons.

Her lawyer Harshad Ponda informed the court yesterday that Zaheera is ready to depose but urged the judge to fix a date for recording her statement.

The designated judge then suggested him to consult the prosecution on the production of the witness.

Prosecutor Manjula Rao told reporters outside the court today that Zaheera had assured to depose but it was the sole discretion of the prosecution when to examine her.

"We shall not take any chance now as she is under police security and all precautions have to be taken. But her brothers, Nafitulla and Nasibulla, would be examined soon", she said.

On November three, Zaheera had affirmed before the Vadodara collector saying she was being pressurised by social activist Teesta Setalvad to identify innocent persons as accused in the Mumbai court conducting re-trial in Best Bakery case. She also said that her original testimony before the fast track court in Gujarat was true.

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