THE MUMBAI police have opposed the discharge plea filed by artist Chintan Upadhyay in the Kandivali double murders claiming it was a case of “contract killing” to get relief from his matrimonial problems. The police claimed that the accused, apart from Upadhyay, had “no motive” to murder his wife Hema and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani. “The applicant (Upadhyay) wanted relief from problems with his wife Hema Upadhyay by killing her, and the other accused were to get monetary benefits,” the reply filed by the police on Monday states.
The police also said that there was evidence in terms of the diaries recovered from Upadhyay’s Delhi home where he had expressed his “trauma, and grievance” against his wife, her brothers, relatives and her advocate. “He specifically expressed in the diary that his life has been made miserable by all these persons,” the reply states. It also says that an FIR was registered by Hema for alleged obscenity against Upadhyay where she claimed that he drew objectionable and obscene images on the walls of their house to humiliate her…”the servant had started looking at her in an objectionable manner because of the said images. The grievance of the applicant was that instead of dismissing the servant, she had lodged a report against him, for which he had to obtain a bail,” the reply said.
The police also relied on the “conduct” of Upadhyay before and after the incident. They claimed that servants of the couple in their Juhu home had said that on his last visit to the Juhu home before the incident, Upadhyay had “deliberately bid goodbye to Hema three times”.
While the police claimed that a picture seen by Bhambhani’s wife Poonam sent by Upadhyay on Hema’s phone said, “I will destroy you”, they have now said that the mobile phone has not been found. The police claim that though co-accused Pradeep Rajbhar has retracted from his confessional statement, it can be relied upon as evidence against Upadhyay. It says that other statements including that of Bhambhani’s family members show that there was a matrimonial dispute between Hema and Upadhyay and that “he wanted to destroy her”.
The bodies of Hema and Bhambhani were found in December 2015 in a nullah in Kandivali. The police claim that absconding accused Vijay Rajbhar had lured the victims into meeting him by claiming that he had information on Upadhyay which Hema could use in her matrimonial dispute against him.