Best Bakery case: Bombay High Court acquits five, life term to four
Mumbai, 9 July 2012
Bombay High Court has acquitted five accused in the 2002 Best Bakery riot case. The court has upheld life sentence to four. The case dates back to March 1, 2002, when a mob attacked Best Bakery at Hanuman Tekdi in Vadodara, and killed 14.
On February 24, 2005, the Best Bakery incident became the first riot-related case to be moved out of Gujarat. A special court in Mumbai, set up following Supreme Court orders, convicted nine of the 21 accused in the case and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
The convicts – Rajubhai Baria, Pankaj Gosai, Bahadursinh Chauhan, Jagdish Rajput, Dinesh Rajbhar, Shanabhai Baria, Shailesh Tadvi, Suresh Vasava and Sanjay Thakker – appealed against the trial court’s decision, claiming they were falsely implicated.
Prosecutors Manjula Rao and Jayesh Yagnik contended that witnesses had identified the accused who entered the building and had given specific accounts of their respective roles in the attack.
Defence counsel Adhik Shirodkar, meanwhile, countered that the bakery had been allegedly torched by a mob and the accused could not have entered it.
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