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Zaheera asked to pay up 38 lakh as tax

Zaheera Sheikh, a key witness in Best Bakery case, will appeal against the notice served by IT department.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2008 21:33 IST

The Income Tax department has asked Zaheera Sheikh, a key witness in Best Bakery riot case who was allegedly given a hefty amount by a Congress corporator to change her statement in the court, to fork out Rs 38.63 lakh as tax.

Zaheera will appeal against the IT notice served by IT department in Vadodra asking her to pay the tax.

On the basis of statement of Congress Corporator Chandrakant Srivastav, IT Department assessed Rs 24 lakh for 2003-04, Rs 22 lakh for 2004-05 and Rs 20 lakh for 2005-06 as Zaheera's income, Atul Mistry, her lawyer, said.

News portal Tehelka had caught Srivastav on tape claiming that he had bribed Zaheera Rs 18 lakh to change her statments in the court during the Best Bakery trial.

The IT Department considered the Tehelka tapes during their scrutiny and found payment of Rs one lakh as deposit to a builder to purchase a flat for Zaheera in Mumbai.

The amount of Rs 1.36 lakh shown in her bank accounts could not be tallied while she had paid Rs 55,000 to purchase a house in Ektanagar in the Panigate locality of Vadodara after her Best Bakery was destroyed in post-Godhra violence on March 1, 2002 in which several people were burnt alive.

The bank accounts of Zaheera, who was convicted of perjury by a special court in Mumbai for changing her statment in the court during the trial of Best Bakery case, have been frozen by the IT Department.

Meanwhile, Zaheera had come to the city on January 28 for consulting her lawyer Atul Mistry and Chartared Accountant Rajkumar Mandovara for appealing against the notice that asked her to pay tax.