The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed an application filed by two witnesses in the February 2010 Pune German Bakery bomb blast case seeking protection from officers of state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS).
A division bench of Justices V K Tahilramani and P N Deshmukh dismissed the application. The witnesses had alleged that they were coerced into giving false statements against lone convict Himayat Baig before a trial court.
The two witnesses had filed the application soon after Himayat Baig filed an appeal in the High Court challenging his conviction and the death penalty awarded to him by the sessions court for carrying out the blast.
The witnesses claimed that they were tutored and coerced into making deliberate false statements before the court with a malafide intention of securing Baig’s conviction. The witnesses 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 during the trial.
The ATS had opposed the witnesses’ claim. On February 13, 2010, a bomb had exploded inside the German Bakery in Pune’s upmarket Koregaon Park area killing 17 people, including five foreigners, and injuring 58 others. On April 19 last year, the Pune sessions court had awarded death penalty to Baig.