A division Bench of the Bombay High Court has recused itself from hearing the proceedings in the confirmation of the death sentence handed out to alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Mirza Himayat Baig, for his involvement in the 2010 bomb blast at Pune’s German Bakery.
At the time of hearing, Justices N H Patil and V L Achliya recused themselves and said: “Not before us.” The Bench, however, assigned no reason for this. Baig has filed an appeal against his conviction in the case. The defence lawyer had earlier urged the HC to defer the hearing of the confirmation proceedings of the death sentence and his appeal against conviction until the NIA completes its probe.
Claiming that the death sentence handed out to Baig may lead to miscarriage of justice, journalist Ashish Khetan had in September last year filed an intervention application in the proceedings pending before the court. Khetan, who conducted a sting operation on prosecution witnesses whose testimonies were relied on by the trial court while convicting Baig, said he had gathered footage of these witnesses saying they were manipulated by the Maharashtra ATS and forced to depose against Baig.