Serial blasts: Govt seeks perjury case against hostile witness

Serial blasts: Govt seeks perjury case against hostile witness

In a significant development with regard to serial blasts that rocked Bengaluru in 2008, the State Government on Wednesday moved an application before the magistrate under Section 340 of CrPC for a case of perjury against a witness who turned hostile.

The Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) has stated that Rafeeq, a witness in the case, had given a voluntary statement under Section 164 of CrPC before the magistrate during the investigation and subsequently turned hostile during the trial. The trial in the serial blasts, that took place on July 25, 2008, is going on a daily basis before the 48th Additional City Civil and Sessions Court. The City police had registered nine cases in connection with the serial blasts in which a woman was killed and several others sustained injuries.

After investigation, the City police had filed the charge sheet against 32 accused, of whom four were killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir and eight are absconding.

The case of the police was that prime accused, T Nasir, along with other accused planted the explosives at various places in the City. Later, the police arrested People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Nasser Maudany in August 2010 for his links with Nasir and involvement in the blasts.

The prosecution’s case was that Rafeeq, a labourer from Igoor in Somawarpet in Kodagu district, had seen prime accused Nasir along with Maudany in Kodagu before the blast.

Nasir had taken land on lease in Somawarpet for growing ginger and Rafeeq had worked in the ginger field. According to his statement before the magistrate in 2010, Nasir started growing ginger in 2006 and the next year he took some more land at a place called Lakkere for the same purpose. He had stated that many of the accused in the serial blasts had come to a shed on the ginger field. He had further said that some time before the blasts in Bengaluru, Maudany had come to meet Nasir in Somawarpet. This voluntary statement was recorded before the 17th ACMM Court.

However, during the trial, Rafeeq turned hostile and denied to having seen Maudany and even working in the ginger field of Nasir. Rafeeq has told the trial court that he was manhandled by the Bengaluru police during 2010 to give a statement before the magistrate. The SPP has moved the application for a complaint against Rafeeq. A complaint of perjury under CrPC 340 for the offences punishable under Section 193 of IPC attracts imprisonment up to seven years. The trial court will hold an enquiry on the application for perjury. If the court is convinced, the complaint may be filed before the jurisdictional court by the court itself or through its authorised representative.  

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