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Zaheera and family will file reply on March 29

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Mar 26 (UNI) Over a month after a local court delivered verdict sentencing nine accused to life imprisonment and acquitting eight others in the Gujarat Best Bakery case, Zaheera Sheikh, the prime witness, and her family members will get a copy of the judgement tomorrow and file their reply on Wednesday to the perjury notice issued to them.

Additional Session Judge Abhay Thipsay, while delivering the verdict on February 24, had also issued perjury notices to Zaheera, her mother Sehrunissa, two brothers Nasibullah and Nafitullah and sister Sahira, asking them why they should not be prosecuted for giving false evidence in the case. They were asked to reply by March 20.

But when Zaheera and Nasibullah informed the court on March 20 they had not yet been given a copy of the judgement and hence were not in a position to reply to the perjury notice, the judge ordered that it be given to them on March 27 and directed the family members to be present in the court on March 29 to file their reply.

Other members of the family did not appear in the court and were granted exemption from personal appearance on March 20 when Nasibullah informed the court that his brother Nafitullah had died on March 2 and his mother and sister were in mourning and hence could not come. The prosecution had produced death certificate of Nafitullah.

The court has also to decide on where Zaheera will undergo one year jail sentence awarded to her for contempt of court by the Supreme Court on March 8 for flip-flopping as the prime witness in the case.

Two days after the apex court, Zaheera had surrendered to the local court and is in police lock-up at Bhoiwada since, pending clarification from the apex court as to whether Zaheera is to undergo the jail term in Maharashtra or Gujarat.

She first wanted to spend the sentence in a Maharashtra jail, alleging she feared for her life in Gujarat. But she subsequently said she wanted to undergo it in a Gujarat jail, alleging Mumbai police would starve her to death.

Her petition seeking reduction in the sentence is pending in the Supreme court.

UNI ST SA VD RAI1046

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