Sunday, June 30, 2013

Baig files appeal in HC against death sentence - Pune sessions court had handed down five-time death sentence to the Indian Mujahideen operative from Beed two months ago

Vijay ChavanPosted On Friday, June 21, 2013 at 08:06:04 AM

Two months after being awarded a five-time death sentence, Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative from Beed, Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig (32), has filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court (HC) against his conviction by the Pune sessions court.

Considering it as the rarest or rare crime, the court of additional sessions judge N P Dhote had awarded the death sentence to Baig on April 18 for playing a major role in the blast at the German Bakery blast on the busy North Main Road in Koregaon Park.

The blast, that had ripped through the popular eatery on February 13, 2010, had killed 17 people and injured over 60 others. Baig filed the appeal through his lawyers, advocates A Rehman and Kainat Shaikh.

Shaikh confirmed that they have filed the appeal, adding, “We are waiting for the HC to admit the appeal on the next date, which is yet to be confirmed. We are hopeful that the judicial procedure will be completed as soon as possible to give some relief to the convict with reduction in the sentence awarded to him.” Shaikh said, “Baig is yet to receive notice from the HC since the state government has filed an application of confirmation of his death penalty.

As per rules, this is mandatory.” On being asked about the grounds on which the appeal has been filed, Shaikh said it would be too soon now to reveal all the details that they are going to put before the court during the appeal hearing.

The court had awarded the capital punishment to Baig under sections 302 and 120(B) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 16(A) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and section 3 of Explosive Substances Act.

Baig, the lone arrested accused, was found guilty of terrorist activities such as planting the bomb and hatching a conspiracy against the nation. The court had accepted the prosecution’s contention that it was a “carefully planned and executed attack, calculated to terrorise the public in general by causing extensive damage to life and property.

Its primary objective was to undermine and reduce faith of the common citizen in the elected government and destabilise the system of law”.

Main culprits still at large.

The ATS has named six other accused —Ahmad Siddibappa Zarar alias Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz Ismail Shahbandri alias Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Ismail Shahbandri alias Iqbal Bhatkal, Mohsin Choudhary, Fayyaz Kagzi alias Zulfikar Fayyaz Ahmad and Sayyad Zabiuddin Sayyad Zakiuddin Ansari alias Zabi. Ansari was recently arrested in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack case.

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