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Amended appeal filed in Best Bakery case
September 29, 2003 18:16 IST
Last Updated: September 29, 2003 21:03 IST
The Gujarat high court on Monday admitted an amended criminal appeal filed by the state government in the Best Bakery case seeking retrial of the case in which 21 people were acquitted.
The criminal appeal filed by the state government asked the high court to permit the affidavits of four witnesses, including key eyewitness Zaheera Sheikh, to be produced and further evidence be permitted to be recorded by the witnesses.
The appeal also said retrial may be ordered quashing the entire proceedings conducted by the fast track court in Godhra.
The appeal was admitted by the division bench of Justice D K Trivedi and Justice M S Shah who posted the matter for further hearing on December 1.
After hearing Advocate General S N Shelat, the bench also issued notices to the Director General of Police, who was recently summoned by the Supreme Court, to file affidavits for giving protection to witnesses who want to give their statements and evidence before the appropriate court by second week of October.
The division bench observed that the prosecution should prepare a 'paper book' of the case and submit it before the high court by November 15.
Some of the grounds cited by the government in its amended criminal appeal for a retrial of the Best Bakery case were:
- The prosecution did not cross-examine the investigating officer and/or that did not elicit from the witness as to why they turned away from their statements.
- The trial conducted (at Vadodara) was unsatisfactory and resulted in failure of justice and was held under unconducive atmosphere.
The amended plea filed by the government also said that the trial court ought to have appreciated the gravity and significance of evidence of Zaheera Sheikh, as she was the real complainant and eyewitness of the gruesome killings and that the evidence of the District Superintendent of Police should have been taken seriously.