May 15, 2015 2:12:53 am
Raghuveer Singh, arrested in the case of murder of his mother Sandhya Singh’s murder, has been granted bail by the Bombay High Court. Sandhya, sister of music composer duo Jatin-Lalit and yesteryear actresses Sulakshana and Vijeta Pandit, went missing on December 13, 2012. Two days later, Raghuveer had registered a missing person’s complaint with the NRI police station in Navi Mumbai.
The partial skeleton of his mother was found near Palm Beach Road on January 28, 2013. He was arrested on suspicion in December 2013. Justice Revati Mohite-Dere, granting bail, asked him to furnish a bond of Rs 50,000, and observed the prosecution had no “clinching” evidence to show Raghuveer’s complicity in the crime.
“He should cooperate during the trial. He shall not leave Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai, without prior permission of the Court,” ordered the court. Sandhya’s remains, skull and 7 bones, and clothes were found around 200 metres from their home in Nerul.
The crime was registered on January 30, 2013, against unknown persons under Sections 302 (murder) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.
Raghuveer, who came under suspicion due to discrepancies in his statements, was arrested by the Mumbai crime branch on December 16, 2013. Raghuveer suspected the involvement of five persons in the crime, including Sandhya’s friend Uma Gour, his lawyer had argued. He filed a protest petition in the magistrate’s court.
Investigations by the crime branch did not reveal anything. The case is based solely on circumstantial evidence. The prosecution relied on statements of Sandhya’s servants, Sheetal, Nisha and Shreya and told the court that the mother and son had a strained relationship. The three servants, according to the prosecution, alleged that Raghuveer was a drug addict who frequently “quarreled with his mother, abused her, and demanded money.”
Their statements revealed that he had “behaved weirdly” when he had conveyed to them that their “aunty was dead”.
Justice Dere observed, “The prosecution case rests entirely on circumstantial evidence, and the circumstances as they stand, are neither clinching nor sufficient, prima facie, to show the complicity of the applicant (Raghuveer).”
The HC has directed Raghuveer to report to the crime branch on Saturdays. He was asked to inform the police about his cellphone number within two weeks of his release.
In case of any change in his residential address or contact details, the HC asked him to keep both the trial court and the police in the loop.
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