July 14, 2021 10:30:25 am
The Dindoshi sessions court has rejected the interim bail plea of artist Chintan Upadhyay, who was arrested in 2015 for the alleged murder of his estranged wife Hema, also an artist, and her lawyer Haresh Bhambhani. The court also rejected the bail plea of co accused Pradeep Rajbhar in a common order earlier this month.
Upadhyay and Rajbhar had sought bail citing the Covid-19 second wave, the spread of black fungus and the fear of a third wave. Upadhyay had said that his parents are both senior citizens and as their only son, they were dependent on him. He also said that they have not met him since he was incarcerated in December 2015. It was also submitted that the time frame to complete the trial given by the Supreme Court had already passed with it still unfinished. The prosecution, meanwhile, opposed his plea stating that jails are taking appropriate care of him during the pandemic.
“Submissions of the applicant/accused Chintan that trial could not be completed within the given period is correct. That cannot be denied and it is a fact. However, it must be noted that the court has examined about 26 witnesses. Further, as far as possible, the trial is being conducted at least twice a week. The court is taking hard efforts to complete the trial. Unfortunately, in the Covid-19 situation, applicants/accused are required to stay in jail for some prolonged period,” the court said.
The court further said that while it understood the “feelings and even pains” of the accused about being kept in jail during the pandemic, since there were no recommendations to include undertrials booked for murder for interim relief, their pleas cannot be considered.
The crime branch claims that the bodies of Hema and Bhambhani were found in a nullah (ravine) in Kandivali on December 11, 2015 in cardboard boxes after they were murdered by the accused at the behest of Upadhyay. In his previous bail pleas, he has denied his involvement claiming that there was nothing to suggest he had ordered the killings apart from mere suspicion.
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