Best Bakery: Teesta`s former aide demands retrial

Last Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 10:20

Mumbai: A former aide of activist Teesta
Setalvad has moved the Bombay High Court seeking retrial of
the 2002 Best Bakery case alleging that the latter not only
fabricated evidence and falsely implicated innocent persons
but also "managed" the witnesses.

Rais Khan Aziz Khan Pathan, in an affidavit, urged the
High Court to direct an appropriate court in Mumbai to conduct
retrial of the case and record his evidence.

Khan, former coordinator of the Citizen for Justice
and Peace, the Mumbai-based NGO headed by Teesta, requested
that notice be served on Teesta to explain her conduct and
clarify allegations of fabricating evidence in the case.

Khan even demanded lie detector and polygraph tests on
himself and Teesta to "bring out the truth".

The affidavit assumes significance as in April 2011,
Shaikh Yasmeen Banu, a key prosecution witness in the case,
had also filed an affidavit in the high court alleging she was
"lured and misguided" by Teesta into giving false testimony
against the 17 accused, of which nine were awarded life term
by a Mumbai court.

Fourteen people who had taken refuge in the Best
Bakery owned by the Shaikh family in Vadodara in Gujarat were
killed by a mob on March 1, 2002, during the post-Godhra
riots.

The appeals filed by the nine convicts in the
sensational case are pending in the Bombay High Court.
Khan contended that on instructions of Teesta, he had
in the past met Yasmeen in Baroda and requested her to shift
to Mumbai where the retrial of the case was in progress.

Yasmeen in her affidavit had accused Khan of cheating
her and other witnesses for personal gains, which was denied
by him.

Khan contended that he used to get funds from Teesta
to organise press conferences for riot victims and meet
relevant expenses.

He alleged that getting payment for the victims was
never Teesta`s priority as she was only concerned to ensure
that the witnesses get money.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 10:20

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