Thursday, December 20, 2018

German bakery blast: State challenges Bombay HC verdict converting Baig’s death penalty to life (Maharashtra)

By Express News Service |Pune/new Delhi |Published: July 1, 2016 12:20:57 am

Government has also taken objection to the HC’s remarks on terror operative Yasin Bhatkal in this case. The Maharashtra government on Thursday moved the Supreme Court (SC), seeking death penalty for Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig (32), the lone convict in the German Bakery blast in Pune, which had claimed 17 lives on February 13, 2010. The appeal filed through state government’s standing counsel Nishant R Katneshwarkar challenged the Bombay High Court (HC) verdict that had commuted Baig’s capital punishment to life term.

It also challenged Baig’s acquittal under various sections of the Unlawful Prevention (Activities) Act and the IPC, including Sections 302 (murder) read with 120-B (criminal conspiracy), by the High Court. The High Court has given life term to Baig, 32, under the Explosive Substances Act. The state has also taken objection to the HC’s remarks on terror operative Yasin Bhatkal in this case. The ATS had arrested Baig, a native of Beed district of Maharashtra, on September 7, 2010, from Pulgate area of Pune for his alleged involvement in the German Bakery blast. 

German bakery blast convict Himayat Baig (Photo Deccan Chronicle)
On April 18, 2013, the sessions court in Pune awarded death sentence to Baig, holding him guilty under Sections 10 (b), 16 (1)(a) of UAPA, Sections 302, 120 (b) of IPC and Section 3 of Explosives Substances Act. Baig moved the HC against the lower court order, and on March 17, this year, the HC, while setting aside Baig’s death sentence, acquitted him from charges under Sections of UAPA, Sections 120 (b), 302 of IPC and Section 3 (b) of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.

The court granted him life term, holding him guilty under Section 5 (b) of the Explosive Substances Act, and seven years’ imprisonment as charge under Section 474 of IPC was confirmed. Speaking to The Indian Express, special public prosecutor Raja Thakre confirmed that the state had filed an appeal in SC against the Bombay HC order. “We have challenged the acquittal orders of the HC on certain sections against Baig. We also have raised objections on the remarks of the HC on Yasin Bhatkal. We have appealed to the SC that these remarks be expunged from the records,” said Thakre.

According to ATS, the bakery blast conspiracy was hatched in Colombo in 2008 and finalised in Udgir in Maharashtra in January 2010. The chargesheet said that Baig was the alleged LeT commander for Maharashtra. ATS has alleged that Baig had gone to Colombo in March 2008 to discuss the plan with Fayyaz Kagzi and Zabiuddin Ansari and “the diabolic design to cause further terrorist activities was finalised” there. Baig was allegedly trained by the duo to build an explosive device and explode it. They are also suspected to have given him money for explosive devices and travel of Muslim youth indoctrinated for terror training.

On February 13, Baig and Yasin allegedly carried the explosive device in a private vehicle from Udgir to Latur and in a state transport bus from Latur to Pune. The duo then hailed an autorickshaw to travel from Poolgate bus stand to Pune Railway Station and from there they went to Central Mall in another autorickshaw. “Yasin planted the bomb in a haversack at the bakery around 5 pm and triggered it with the help of a mobile triggering device at 6.50 pm,” the chargesheet stated.

Meanwhile, ATS claimed that Yasin Bhatkal was seen in the CCTV footage obtained from the blast site. Later, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the probe into the case. In June 2012, the accused Zabiudding Ansari alias Abu Jundal was deported from Saudi Arabia to India. In August 2013, the accused Yasin Bhatkal was held on the India-Nepal border. In March 2014, ATS formally arrested Yasin in the German Bakery blast case and filed a supplementary chargesheet against him in August.

Source: (Accessed 20 December 2018)

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