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Zaheera files petition in SC seeking retrial, protection
August 08, 2003 14:00 IST
Last Updated: August 08, 2003 16:04 IST
Zaheera Habibullah Sheikh, a key witness in the Best Bakery case, on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking retrial of the case at any place outside Gujarat alleging that 'crucial evidence was shut out through threats and intimidation' given on behalf of accused.
Zaheera, who figures in the list of petitioners in the plea filed by NGO -- Citizens for Justice and Peace headed by Teesta Shetalvad -- said the trial court verdict of June 27 should be set aside by the apex Court as there had been a serious miscarriage of justice.
The petition was mentioned by counsel Aparna Bhatt before a bench comprising Chief Justice V N Khare, Justice S B Sinha and Justice Arun Kumar when it was hearing the NHRC petition on the same issue.
Referring to 37 of the 41 witnesses turning hostile, including herself, in the case, She said, "The eye witnesses had not identified the perpetrators of the ghastly crime only because of threats, intimidation and hostile environment within the Court as well as in Gujarat generally."
Accusing the public prosecutor as well as the trial court judge of 'failing to carry out their duties to ensure congenial atmosphere in the trial', Zahira said, "A retrial is absolutely essential since fresh evidence likely to throw new light on the case is sought to be brought on record.
"This evidence was unavailable at the stage of trial only because it was shut out through threats and intimidation by persons acting on behalf of the accused," she alleged.
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