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High Court bench refers to CJ in Mirza Himayat Baig confirmation case

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 - 6:50am IST | Agency: dna

A division bench of justices VM Kanade and PD Kode of the high court has asked the prosecution to place the death confirmation case of Mirza Himayat Baig, the lone convict in the German Bakery blast case of Pune, 2010, before the chief justice Mohit Shah.

The judges, observed that the matter was substantially heard by another bench of HC in April.

Special public prosecutor Raja Thakare, said that when a bench has substantially heard a matter and even one of the judges, is not transferred to another HC bench, then he/she hears the matter.
A division bench headed by justice NH Patil had heard Baig's matter in April.

The matter will now be placed before the chief justices for necessary instructions, said Thakare.

HC is hearing a petition filed by the state government seeking confirmation of the death sentences awarded to Baig by the sessions court in Pune in 2013. Baig has also filed appeal against his conviction.
In addition, the HC will decide at the time of hearing appeal three intervention applications – two by witnesses and one by a journalist – challenging the prosecution case.

Arshad Shaikh, advocate for two witnesses – Shaikh Gous Khurshid Ahmed and Abdul Rehan Ahmed Shaikh – said that they were coerced and tutored into making deliberate false statements before the court with a malafide intention of securing conviction of Baig.

The witnesses have also alleged that before they were to depose before the trial court, they were all kept separately for several days and tutored by the ATS personnel as to the nature of the recoveries and statements that were relied on to convict the accused in the trial.

Journalist Ashish Khetan, has also filed an intervention application praying for a re-investigation in the case by an independent agency alleging fabrication of evidence and tutoring of witnesses by the state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS).

Mihir Desai, Khetan's advocate, said the journalist has carried out a sting operation wherein witnesses have said that they were coerced by the ATS to give testimony in their favour.

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