February 5, 2021 7:37:33 pm
Observing that the possibility of influencing witnesses who are jail inmates cannot be ruled out, a sessions court this week rejected a prison guard’s fifth bail application, who was arrested in connection with the murder of jail inmate Manjula Shetye in 2017.
The prosecution opposed the bail plea of prison staffer Wasima Shaikh who, along with five others, is facing trial on charges including murdering and assaulting Shetye, a convict who was serving life imprisonment.
Special public prosecutor Kalpana Chavan submitted to the court that during the deposition of the fifth witness in the case, who was a jail inmate, a relative of one of the accused had threatened her. It was also claimed that many witnesses are inmates of Byculla women’s prison and the accused resided in the government quarters within the compound.
“It has been alleged that the jail authority and the staff, who are supposed to maintain law and order in the jail, have murdered one of the jail inmates. Considering the evidence already recorded of the witnesses and the material on record, it appears that there is strong evidence on record. The possibility of the applicant (Shaikh) even influencing witnesses who are jail inmates cannot be ruled out,” the court said.
Shaikh had previously filed bail pleas, including on medical grounds, stating that she is suffering from severe ailments and needs constant supervision. The court, however, said that the appropriate treatment can be made available to her in the jail premises.
Shaikh had also submitted that the allegation made in the complaint was that she had inserted a stick in the private parts of Shetye, which has not been proven in the medical report, indicating that it was a false charge. The prosecution, however, submitted that there were witness statements which show her complicity in assaulting Shetye along with others.
None of the accused in the case have been granted bail so far.
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