Even as the prosecutor and defence lawyers will submit their arguments on quantum of punishment for German Bakery (GB) blast case convict Mirza Himayat Baig before the special judge NP Dhote on Thursday, Puneites are curious if the judge would award death sentence to Baig tomorrow.
On April 15, Judge Dhote had held guilty the sole arrested accused in the GB case that took place on Febuary 13, 2010.
The judge will hear the submissions of special public prosecutor Raja Thakare and defence lawyers A Rehman and Kaynath Shaikh on the quantum of punishment when the court opens on Thursday. Thakare is expected to demand capital punishment for Baig listing the aggravating circumstances, while Rehman and Shaikh are expected to pray that a lenient approach be taken in Baig’s case.
Judge Dhote has held Baig guilty on 14 charges and many of them carry maximum punishment of death sentence or life imprisonment.
Three of the charges in which Baig has been convicted have maximum punishment of death sentence. These include murder (IPC Section 302), punishment for criminal conspiracy (IPC Section 120 B) and punishment for terrorist act (Section 16 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).
The four charges against him that carry maximum punishment of life imprisonment are attempt to murder (IPC section 307), possessing forged document (IPC section 474), causing explosion likely to endanger life or property (Section 3 of The Explosive Substances Act 1908) and making or possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances (Section 5 of The Explosive Substances Act 1908).
Besides, he has been held guilty on charge of attempt to cause explosion, or for making or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life or property under Section 4 of The Explosive Substances Act 1908) which carries a maximum punishment of 20 years imprisonment.
A powerful bomb blast had ripped off the German Bakery in upmarket area of Koregaon Park killing 17 people, including five foreign nationals, and injuring more that 56 people.
ATS arrested Baig on September 7, 2010, at Pulgate bus stand. A 2,600-page chargesheet was submitted in December 2010.
The chargesheet named six other accused, including Ahmed Siddibappa Zarar alias Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz Ismail Shahbandri alias Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Ismail Shahbandri alias Iqbal Bhatkal (all three from Bhatkal town in Karnataka), Mohsin Choudhari of Pune, Fayyaz Kagzi alias Zulfikar Fayyaz Ahmed and Abu Jundal alias Zabiuddin Ansari alias Zabi. Except for Zabi, who is awaiting trial, other five accused are still at large.