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Defence seeks leniency for 'poor, well-educated' Mirza Himayat Baig

Friday, 19 April 2013 - 10:14am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

German Bakery blast case convict Mirza Himayat Baig’s lawyer A Rehman prayed the court to be lenient towards Baig stating that his client is young and a well educated teacher without any criminal past. He added that Baig did not have any direct involvement in the blast and has been convicted solely on circumstantial evidence.

Presenting his argument on quantum of punishment in the court of special judge NP Dhote on Thursday, Rehman submitted, “Baig took hardships to complete his graduation in arts and later did D Ed. He belongs to a financially weak family. His father and brother run a small snacks centre. Baig had no previous conviction against him. He is not a hardened criminal.”

Baig claimed that the ATS has failed to prove charges against Baig. He said, “The ATS has failed to prove that Baig is a member of Indian Mujahideen or Lashkar-e-Toiba which are banned in India since 2004. Here an innocent is suffering and the real culprits are roaming free.”

He added, “There are chances of Baig reforming. Such case calls for life imprisonment. Death penalty is awarded in exceptional circumstances. Though the prosecution sites examples of capital punishments of Ayub Memon and Ajmal Kasab, this case is totally different from them. Here there is no public cry.

The German Bakery was not a public place. It was owned by an individual.”

Rehman argued, “Baig has never been to German bakery. Bhatkal alone planted the bomb. Of the 103 prosecution witnesses, only six claim that Baig was in Pune on Febuary 13, 2010. To hold one guilty under section 302 of Indian Penal Code (murder), there must be intention and motive. Here we have no intention or motive. The RDX is used by the military. ATS planted RDX in Baig’s house and seized it. It has failed to collect evidences as to who supplied the RDX.”

He added, “ATS claims that the conspiracy was hatched in March 2008 at Colombo in Sri Lanka. But the ATS never went to Colombo for in-depth investigations. It alleged the involvement of Abu Jundal but he has not been produced before the court.”

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