Citizens for Justice and Peace

Letter for Change of Public Prosecutor

02, Oct 2004


October 2, 2004


Shri Shri V.P Patel

Joint Secretary to the Government

Legal Dept

Government of Gujarat

Subject: Re-trial of the BEST Bakery case

Dear Sir,

It is with regret that we all heard of the sudden demise of noted criminal lawyer, Shri PR Vakil and the special public prosecutor in the BEST Bakery case. We are constrained to communicate with you immediately in this regard so as to avert any further unnecessary delay in this case that is about to commence on Monday October 4, 2004.

Mrs Manjula Rao has been the associate public prosecutor and hence if at all we are in the process of considering as the
guardian group of the affected parties the name of one or two more persons to assist her in the prosecution.

As you have been aware the prosecutors have to be in accordance with the wishes of the affected parties. The Hon SC said in it’s judgement of April 12, 2004 that  “We direct the State Government to appoint another public prosecutor and it shall be open to the affected persons to suggest any name which may also be taken into account in the decision to so appoint.  Though the witnesses or the victims do not have any choice in the normal course to have a say in the matter of appointment of a Public Prosecutor, in view of the unusual factors noticed in this case, to accord such liberties to the complainants party, would be appropriate.” This principle was further upheld by the Court in it’s Order of August 9, 2004.

We therefore urge you to give us a few more days to communicate the additional names to you in view of the altered
circumstances following the untimely death of Shri PR Vakil. We also urge that the Gujarat government does not further cause any impediment to the trial following this tragedy.

Yours Sincerely,

Teesta Setalvad,




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