June 26, 2021 1:24:32 am
Over six months since Diya Padalkar (19) was arrested for the alleged murder of her childhood friend at a New Year’s Eve party in Khar, a sessions court granted her bail on Friday.
Padalkar was arrested along with Shree Jogdhankar (22) for the murder of their common friend Jhanvi Kukreja (19). The court rejected Jogdhankar’s bail application. Padalkar and Jogdhankar had filed for bail again after the Mumbai Police filed a chargesheet against them in March.
On New Year’s Eve, Kukreja and the two accused had attended a party along with others on terrace of a building in Khar. The police have claimed that an argument ensued between Kukreja and the accused over their proximity at the party, leading to a violent scuffle on the staircase, where she was murdered.
Padalkar, in her bail plea filed through lawyer Ashok Mishra, had said that there was no evidence to show that she was involved in the murder. She had added that as per the chronology of events mentioned in the chargesheet, she was on the terrace or sleeping in the party organiser’s room at the alleged time of the incident.
Additional Sessions Judge M M Umar allowed the plea with directions that Padalkar should not tamper with evidence or influence prosecution witnesses. She was also asked to visit Khar police station once a month till the trial culminates and not to leave the city.
An application filed on behalf of Kukreja’s mother seeking a stay on the order was rejected.
“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, so also considering that the prosecution case against the applicant (Padalkar) is based on the circumstantial evidence, it is not desirable to stay the bail order,” the court said.
Jogdhankar’s bail plea had sought his release on various grounds, including that there are no eyewitnesses to the alleged incident. It plea also said that he had himself sustained injuries due to a grievous assault while saving Kukreja from “assailants”.
Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat opposed the plea stating that Jogdhankar’s defence was an afterthought and that he had not been able to name or identify the “assailants”. He added that circumstantial and forensic evidence showed Kukreja’s bloodstains on Jogdhankar’s shirt and the bedsheet on which Padalkar lay following the incident.
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