As the trial in the molestation and murder case of 27- year-old lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha draws to a close, the defence lawyer has brought forth new evidence challenging the prosecution’s case against Sajjad Ahmad Mughal alias Sajjad Pathan, the security guard working at the victim’s building in Wadala.
Wireless information relayed by the first constable who reached the spot following a call by Purkayastha’s neighbour claims that she and her live-in partner Avik Sengupta had walked into the apartment at 5 am on August 9, 2012, and that she was attacked after that.
This information contradicts prosecution’s case, which alleges that Purkayastha was found dead in a pool of blood when Sengupta reached home at 5 am. The information relayed by the constable attached to the Wadala TT mobile van states, “Pallavi and Avik Sengupta reached home at 5 am. Someone slit Pallavi’s throat. Who attacked her is not known. Avik is still at the spot. He (Avik) says he is a lawyer.” The information was recorded in Marathi.
The special women’s court presided by Judge Vrushali Joshi on Thursday allowed the defence to admit the wireless communication as evidence on record. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam consented without contesting the authenticity of the evidence.
With over 30 witnesses examined, the prosecution has already closed its case and the court had scheduled it for final arguments before delivering judgment.
Sengupta died in November 2013 following a prolonged illness.
In his statement recorded in August last year, he had concurred with the prosecution’s case. He had said Pathan would stare at Purkayastha, which made her uncomfortable. The prosecution has built its case on Pathan’s confession along with two of his friends — a driver and another security agent — whom he allegedly called up hours after the incident and admitted to have killed a woman.
In a three-page confession attached to the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch, Pathan, had allegedly confessed to his crime and claimed that he was attracted to Purkayastha and hoped to have a physical relationship.
With the new piece of evidence, defence lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan contended that the entire investigation carried out in the case appears to be suspicious. “This piece of evidence was suppressed and made available only when the defence made a demand under law,” said Khan.
However, Nikam said the information as was not important. He added that there was high scope of error when the information is relayed. “The information relayed to the control room is always full of errors. What that constable must have said, what the constable at the control room must have noted, only they know. If a piece of evidence is admitted before the court, it does not mean that it is accepted. We will contest it,” Nikam said.