May 19, 2021 4:02:07 am
The Mumbai Police is likely to file an appeal against the Thane court order acquitting Raghuveer Singh last week on charges of murder of his mother Sandhya Singh in 2012.
The Thane court had on Thursday cleared Raghuveer of charges, including murder and destruction of evidence. Sandhya was the sister of music composer duo Jatin-Lalit and yesteryear actors Sulakshana and Vijeta Pandit.
“Though there were no eyewitnesses, we believe we had a strong case based on circumstantial evidence. We are awaiting the judgment copy and preparing to file an appeal against the acquittal,” a police officer said.
During the trial that lasted over seven years, the prosecution had examined 29 witnesses. They included three domestic helps employed at the Singh household in Navi Mumbai’s NRI complex.
They had told the police about Raghuveer’s strained relationship with his mother and the fights between them. None of the witnesses turned hostile.
Sandhya, the wife of then commissioner in central excise, customs and service tax department, had gone missing on December 13, 2012, following which a missing person’s report was filed by Raghuveer.
After a human skull and seven bones found nearly a month later by an ornithologist in a marshy area matched the DNA samples of Sandhya, a murder case was filed.
The case was initially investigated by the Navi Mumbai police before being transferred to the Mumbai Police Crime Branch.
An officer said that a crucial time was lost by the time the case was transferred. The police were unable to find out when and where Sandhya was murdered.
Initially, many were under suspicion, including Raghuveer and one of Sandhya’s friends. Raghuveer was arrested nearly a year later.
In 2015, the Bombay High Court granted him bail observing that prima facie there was “neither clinching nor sufficient” circumstances that linked him to the crime.
Among the evidence that the police relied on was a Rado watch. The police claimed that it belonged to Sandhya and she was wearing it at the time of her disappearance. It was alleged that the watch was mortgaged by Raghuveer to a friend, who also deposed before the court.
The defence, however, said that the recovery of the watch did not prove that it belonged to Sandhya, as many such watches could be found in the market.
While the detailed copy of the judgment is yet to be made available, in its operative part, the court has asked for the watch to be auctioned as per procedure.
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