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'Zahira not as mature as Teesta'

April 20, 2005 11:15 IST
Last Updated: April 20, 2005 16:40 IST

The Supreme Court-appointed committee has decided to orally examine Best Bakery case key witness Zahira Sheikh but seek written replies from Teesta Setalvad.

The committee took the decision, as Zahira is not as 'mature, educated and literate' as the social activist.

The committee, headed by Registrar General of Supreme Court B M Gupta, passed the order while rejecting a plea from Zahira's counsel that equality of approach towards her and Teesta be maintained.

Meanwhile, the judge who had constituted the committee to look into the veracity of the statements given by Zahira and the allegations levelled by her against Teesta, on Wednesday rejected her plea seeking the transfer of the task entrusted to the committee to a formal court.

Justice Arijit Pasayat said, "Under no circumstances we will allow the proceedings of the committee to be adjourned. Whatever grievance you have can be heard after the committee submits its report to the court."

Zahira had on Tuesday accused the committee of adopting a biased approach towards her. Her lawyer D K Garg had alleged that the committee was exceeding the orders of the apex court by 'cross-examining' her.

Commission member, Joint Commissioner of Delhi Police Kanwaljeet Deol, refuted the allegations. He, however, sought the view of Setalvad's counsel Aparna Bhat and National Human Rights Commission's counsel S Muralidhar on Zahira's application.

The committee then adjourned proceedings till Thursday to allow Zahira to approach the SC with her apprehensions about the committee continuing with its task.

Meanwhile, justifying the difference in approach of the committee towards Zahira and Teesta, the registrar general, in his April 18 order, said, "The reasons behind calling her for such examination and not calling her for written clarification are known."

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