Observing that Apoorva Shukla, accused of killing her husband Rohit Shekhar Tiwari, son of late politician N D Tiwari, was in a position to influence public witnesses, a Delhi court has denied her bail. Police have claimed that Apoorva allegedly killed her husband by smothering and strangulating him following an argument. The prosecution has argued that she was frustrated with an alleged illicit relationship Rohit had, and a motive to grab his property.
Additional Sessions Judge Sandeep Yadav denied bail to Apoorva, who filed her second bail plea through her lawyer Mehmood Pracha.
The court, in its order dated November 25, said, “While deciding the bail application, position and status of the accused has to be seen and considered. The applicant was married to the deceased and is a part of the family. Many public witnesses associated with the deceased’s family are yet to be examined. Applicant being part of the family is definitely in a position to influence public witnesses who are yet to be examined.” It said the seriousness and gravity of offence are relevant factors while considering a bail plea.
Pracha had told the court that 11 witnesses have already been examined by the court and there was “no possibility of any witness being influenced by the accused”. Referring to the testimony of a prosecution witness, Pracha told the court that the witness did not state that the accused suspected her husband of being in an illicit relationship, hence the prosecution could not prove a motive.
The court, however, said, “It is settled that a detailed examination of evidence that has to come on record is not warranted when deciding the bail application as it may prejudice the case of the prosecution or of the accused.”
L D Singh, Additional Public Prosecutor appearing for Delhi Police, had argued that Apoorva was not even a suspect, but was later found to be with her husband at the time of death, as per post-mortem. Singh told the court she was the last person seen on the first floor in CCTV footage. The court said, “The case is based on circumstantial evidence. Motive on part of applicant/accused to commit the crime is evident from testimony of prosecution witness-9. There is scientific evidence in the form of CCTV footage in which accused is seen as the last person to go to the first floor where the murder… took place. Therefore, prime facie case against accused is evident from evidence collected during probe and evidence that has been led so far.”
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