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Home > News > PTI

Best Bakery case: Legal row continues

June 21, 2004 14:06 IST

The legal row between Maharashtra and Gujarat governments over the appointment of a public prosecutor in the Best Bakery case continued on Mondayeven as the trial court asked the two sides to resolve their differences by July 5, failing which the matter would be referred to the Supreme Court.

In case the matter is referred to the apex court, the trial would be adjourned until July 19.

Both Maharashtra and Gujarat governments have appointed public prosecutors to the case, creating a peculiar situation before the court.

Atul Mehta and T S Nanavati appeared in the court on behalf of the Gujarat government on Monday and said they had been appointed prosecutors by the state.

They informed the court that the Gujarat government would consider appointing Manjula Rao as special public prosecutor. Rao is the choice of Citizens for Justice and Peace, an NGOsupporting the victims in this case.

However, the Maharashtra government's counsel brought to the court's notice a notification of the Maharashtra government appointing a team of prosecutors -- P R Vakil, Manjula Rao, Zaheeruddin Sheikh and S M Vora -- for the case.

The Supreme Court had on April 12 ordered the Bombay high court to set up a special court for the re-trial of all 21 accused in the case. They were all acquitted by a fast track court in Gujarat after the witnesses in the case turned hostile.

The high court appointed Judge A M Thipsay to conduct the re-trial.

Fourteen people, mostly belonging to a minority community, were killed when Best Bakery in Vadodara was set on fire by rioters on March 1, 2002.

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