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Best bakery: Court to fix judgement date on Friday

Initially, when the case was transferred to Maharashtra, the apex court had directed that re-trial be completed by Dec 31, 2004.

india Updated: Jan 26, 2006 13:54 IST

Additional Sessions Judge Abhay Thipsay, who is presiding over the re-trial in the Best Bakery case is likely to announce the date of the judgement on January 27, according to a defence counsel.

The trial in the case, which has seen four extensions, completed earlier this month and the next date of hearing has been fixed for Friday, when the presiding judge could announce the date of judgement, the counsel said.

The Supreme Court, which had transferred the case from Gujarat to Maharashtra for a re-trial, gave the fourth extension till February 28 with a directive to complete the trial and deliver the verdict.

Initially, when the case was transferred to Maharashtra, the apex court had directed that re-trial be completed by December 31, 2004.

However, it could not be completed because of which the special court here had to seek extension on three occasions.

Fourteen people were killed when the Best Bakery was torched by a mob on March 1, 2002, in the aftermath of the Godhra train carnage in Gujarat.

Trial was earlier conducted by a fast track court in Vadodara in which all the 21 accused were acquitted of all charges.

However, prime witness Zahira Sheikh, who had turned hostile in the Vadodara court, had challenged the order in the Gujarat High Court.

Thereafter, she filed an SLP (Special Leave Petition) in the Supreme Court, seeking a re-trial and that too outside Gujarat.

The apex court had then transferred the case to Maharashtra for a re-trial.

First Published: Jan 26, 2006 13:54 IST