THE STATE government has moved the Supreme Court against the acquittal of Mirza Himayat Baig on five counts of death and four counts of life imprisonment that was handed out to him by a trial court in Pune for his alleged involvement in the German Bakery bombing in February 2010. Baig, the lone accused in the case who was awarded death penalty by a Sessions Court in April 2013, was in March this year sentenced for life instead by the Bombay High Court which convicted him for “possession of explosives.”
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Challenging the HC order, government lawyer Nishant R Katneshwarkar has now moved the SC, citing 20 grounds. The petition has challenged the March 17, 2016, judgement which had also acquitted Baig from charges under various Sections of the Unlawful Prevention (Activities) Act and the IPC, including Sections 302 (murder) read with 120-B (criminal conspiracy).
“The HC overlooked the evidence which showed that Baig had travelled from Latur to Mumbai and stayed at a lodge for the purpose of entering into a conspiracy or for giving final shape to terrorist act or in furtherance of his terrorist activities,” says the petition. Meanwhile, Baig had submitted a Special Leave Application seeking “complete acquittal” by challenging the conviction on the two charges levied by the HC.
“The evidence produced to support Baig’s involvement is flimsy. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) says that the autorickshaw driver who had dropped Baig and (Yasin) Bhatkal to Koregaon Park identified Baig several months after the incident. This is not reliable evidence and looks concocted to frame my client. The explosive sample from the blast site doesn’t match with the RDX that the ATS alleges was seized from Baig’s residence. We are confident of the acquittal on the two charges,” Baig’s lawyer Farrukh Rasheed said in the application. The SC is likely to hear the case later this month.