Zaheera to serve sentence in Mumbai prison

Mumbai, March 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
A sessions court on Wednesday ordered Zaheera Shaikh, prime witness in the Best Bakery case, to undergo one-years imprisonment in a city prison to execute the Supreme Court (SC) order holding her guilty for contempt of court.

Judge Abhay Thipsay, before whom Ms Zaheera had surrendered on March 10, said he could not wait any longer and was therefore sending her to jail to execute the apex courts order which had asked her to spend one year in prison and pay a fine of Rs 50,000.

The court noted that Ms Zaheera had initially expressed her desire to serve the sentence in a Mumbai jail and later changed her stand saying she wanted to spend the term in a Gujarat prison. Hence, she was detained pending directions from the SC.

The judge made it clear that she was convicted by the apex court and had to undergo imprisonment. He also said his court had received a SC writ in this regard and the order was to be executed forthwith.

The court turned down the plea of Ms Zaheeras lawyer Umesh Deshpande to defer the decision for a week to enable the apex court decide the review petition filed by her urging reduction in sentence and leave to undergo jail term in Gujarat.