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Citizens for Justice and Peace

cjp06nov

08, May 2017


 

November 6,
2004

 

Press Release

 


Citizens for
Justice and Peace Approaches Apex Court for Top-Level Investigation into
Zahira ShaikhÂ’s Retraction

 

On November 6, 2004, the Citizens for
Justice and Peace
and through itÂ’s secretary Teesta Setalvad filed an
application in the Supreme Court asking for high-level probe (by the Hon
Court or the CBI) into the circumstances behind which prime witness Zahira
Shaikh retracted her statement at a press conference in which the Vadodara
police that is the prosecuting agency in the retrial actually played a
part in the events. The application was filed on November 6, 2004.

 

The application states that, “It has been due
to the intervention of this Hon’ble Court in the “Best Bakery Case”. It
was on the Citizens for Justice and Peace assurance of support that Zahira
Shaikh and her family moved to Mumbai (Citizens for Justice and Peace has
since been looking after all their financial and security needs) and in
early July 2003, she told a hugely attended press conference why they were
forced to lie before the court earlier and why they wanted a retrial of
the Best Bakery Case outside Gujarat. The Secretary, Citizens for Justice
and Peace escorted Zahira Shaikh to Delhi for a full-bench hearing before
the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on July 11, 2003. It was
thereafter that the NHRC decided on its rare step of filing an appeal in
this HonÂ’ble Court endorsing ZahiraÂ’s plea for a retrial outside Gujarat.
Besides the NHRC and Citizens for Justice and Peace and Zahira Shaikh also
filed a separate appeal before this HonÂ’ble Court, which has now been
tagged with the NHRC petition.”

 

On November 3, 2004, there appeared in the
print media as well as the Bakery” trial by the present applicant. It has
also been reported in the newspapers that she has been threatened and
there was a “threat to her life” among other allegations against the
Citizens for Justice and Peace and its office bearers in particularly
against the applicant.

 

 

 

 

Nirant,
Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai – 400049 Phone: 2660 3927 /2660 2288

e-mail: [email protected]

 

Hence in the interests of Justice and it the
interests of free and fair trial the applicants have applied to the
Supreme Court for directions that “an Independent Inquiry into the
circumstances behind which Ms Zahira Shaikh has made unfortunate and
utterly mala fide allegations against co-petitioner Teesta Setalvad,
Secretary Citizens for Justice and Peace and hence put unto jeopardy the
credibility of the justice system as a whole.” The application also state
that the Court should examined “the circumstances under which Ms. Shaikh
called a press conference, the support she received in that time and the
role of the Gujarat police in being silent spectators when their principal
witness was going to turn hostile in a pending prosecution. Ideally, this
application had to be moved the State of Gujarat, as it is their
prosecution that has taken a major set back. Advocate Aparna Bhatt is the
advocate for the applicant.

 

The application states that apart from being
shocked and pained at the baseless allegations made against her, where on
of the main witnesses has hurled allegations against the applicant, the
timing of these allegations, made after three witnesses had deposed and
identified accused in the re-trial in Mumbai itself makes the whole
episode sordid and suspect.

 

The sudden retraction and baseless allegation
made by a key witness in the “BEST Bakery” trial when three eye-witnesses
who had never been given a chance to appear before the Vadodara court have
deposed in the re-trial and actually identified accused gives remove for
unfortunate suppositions and in fact casts a slur on Constitutional Bodies
like the National Human Rights Commission and also the apex Court of the
land, after the landmark in jugment of this HonÂ’ble Court in the present
appeal.



 

Teesta Setalvad

Citizens for Justice and Peace 

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