The Mumbai Police’s crime branch has opposed the discharge application of 24-year-old Pradeep Rajbhar, an accused in the Kandivali double murder of artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani, saying that there was sufficient evidence to proceed with a trial against him.
Rajbhar had given a confessional statement in March 2016 before a Borivali court, but retracted it later, claiming it was given under pressure by the police. In a reply filed before a sessions court in Dindoshi, the police have said their investigation showed Rajbhar was the one who had called Upadhyay on December 11, 2015 at the instance of her husband, Chintan, also an accused in the case.
The police said that in this call, Rajbhar posed as Chintan’s servant and said he would give her material that could be used against her husband in their ongoing matrimonial dispute, which was being heard at the high court.
Upadhyay and Bhambhani had agreed to meet the caller and were then allegedly murdered, the police claimed.
The prosecution said that apart from the call made by Rajbhar, he was present at the time of the murder as well as the dumping of the bodies.
It has contended that Rajbhar’s claim, in his discharge plea, that there was no evidence against him was not correct.
The prosecution, instead, claimed that information given by him “have been further confirmed by oral, technical and scientific evidence”. The court had rejected the discharge application filed by Chintan in November.