Zahira Habibullah H SHeikh and Anr v/s. State of Gujarat and Ors.

  • Meenal Maheshwari, MNLU Nagour
  • December 4, 2020

Content :

The following is a brief case analysis of the Zahira Habibullah H Sheikh And Anr vs. State Of Gujarat And Ors [2004] 4 SCC 158. This case, commonly called the ‘best bakery’ case, is considered to be a landmark judgment not only because it dealt with the post Godhra riot incident but also because it dealt with witness tampering, role of powerful politicians in misleading the court , impugned role of prosecutors and the foundation  of a free and fair trial. This case has been read, summarised and analyzed broadly under the following heading: Facts of the case, Issue raised, Arguments by appellants, legal aspects, and established precedents, overview of the judgement, conclusion and suggestions. The case focuses on the legal provisions embedded in articles 14, 21 and 139(A) of the constitution as well as section 409(1), 173(8) and 311 of the CrPC. It also looks into section 165 of the Indian Evidence act, 1872. The supreme court, via this judgement, reiterated the famous Bentham quote ‘’witnesses are the eyes and ears of justice’’. The court in it erudite judgement dealt with how the state machinery, at times, influences the justice delivery system and causes travesty of justice. It also propounded the theory of triangulation of interest in criminal jurisprudence.