A sessions court on Friday directed the father of an accused in the double murder case of artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani to deposit Rs 5 lakh before it, since he failed to produce a tempo, allegedly used to dispose bodies of the victims after the crime.
Additional Sessions Judge S S Oza of the Dindoshi sessions court passed the order declaring that the indemnity bond of Ramadhar Rajbhar is forfeited and directed him to deposit the amount of Rs 5 lakh before the court within two weeks, otherwise warrant will be issued to recover it through the Collector.
The court also issued a search warrant for the tempo, which is considered an important evidence by the police and noted that the expenses for its production be adjusted from the amount recovered from Ramadhar.
A sessions court, last month, had issued a bailable warrant against Ramadhar after he failed to appear before the court.
Ramadhar, father of accused Vijay Rajbhar, had in 2016 moved an application seeking the custody of his son Vijay’s tempo — allegedly used by the accused to dispose the bodies after the murder. The court had allowed Ramadhar to take custody of the tempo by paying an indemnity bond of Rs 5 lakh. It also directed him not to sell it as it is part of evidence. Ramadhar, in October, had told the court that his family member had sold the vehicle.
On Tuesday, Ramadhar had made a plea stating that his son Rajbhar was falsely implicated in the case and said that conditions of the order of returning the vehicle to him were not explained and therefore he was unaware of the consequences of not producing it. He submitted that a family member had sold it due to poverty and urged the court to consider the same and be lenient.
However, the investigating agency denied his claims and submitted that Ramadhar had not abided by the conditions of the order by selling the tempo. The court had then given him final chance to produce before it the tempo used in the crime.
The two bodies were found in a nullah in Kandivali on December 12, 2015. The Mumbai Police had arrested four persons, including Hema’s husband, artist Chintan Upadhyay. Another accused, metal fabrication artist Vidyadhar Rajbhar, who the police claimed had carried out the murders at the behest of Chintan, is still absconding.
The police had also claimed that the motive behind the murders was a domestic dispute between Chintan and Hema. Chintan has maintained that the police have no legally admissible evidence and insufficient circumstantial evidence, like entries made in his personal diary, against him to prove his guilt.
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