The lawyer of German Bakery blast accused Mirza Himayat Baig Thursday claimed in the Bombay High Court that Indian Mujahideen (IM) is an “imaginary concept”, while the prosecution maintained that it is a terror outfit banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Hearing Baig’s appeal against his death sentence, Justices N H Patil and S B Shukre, allowed him to be present in court on Friday, when the case, which has seen several adjournments in the last two years, will be heard.
Baig’s counsel Mehmood Pracha said IM was the creation of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad. Special public prosecutor Raja Thakare said it was a banned terror outfit. Pracha said there was nothing to prove if it really existed.
Pracha also claimed that investigations by three agencies, including the National Investigation Agency, have shown that it was Qateel Siddiqui who allegedly accompanied accused Yasin Bhatkal, and not Baig.
Meanwhile, two witnesses, who had earlier supported the prosecution’s theory, and later retracted, claimed that their statements to the police, and those given before a magistrate were made under duress. On Thursday, through their lawyer, they sought to be heard.
The HC said it will hear them after the prosecution concludes its arguments. The HC had on March 23 directed that Baig be shifted to Nagpur Central Prison after his plea that he perceived a threat to his life in Pune jail.
Baig was given death penalty by a Pune sessions court on April 18, 2013 for his involvement. As many as 17 people, including five foreign nationals, were killed in the explosion at the popular eatery in Pune’s Koregaon Park on February 13, 2010.
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