June 19, 2021 1:27:12 am
A PROFESSOR at a government pharmacy college in the city was on Friday convicted for murdering his terminally ill mother by pushing her off the terrace of an apartment building in 2017.
The court of additional sessions judge PN Dave pronounced Sandeep Nathwani guilty of murdering his 64-year-old ailing mother Jayshree Nathwani in September 2017 and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Sandeep had initially told the police that his mother, a retired school teacher, had killed herself by jumping off the terrace of four-storey Darshan Apartment near Nanavati Chowk on 150-feet Ring Road, as she was fed up with her illness. The professor had also claimed that he had taken her mother up on the terrace after she told him that she would like to offer her prayers to the sun.
However, in January 2018, the control-room of Rajkot city police received an anonymous call suggesting the elderly woman’s death was not a case of suicide but of murder. After checking CCTV footage and collecting evidence, police had booked Sandeep for murder.
Additional public prosecutor (APP) Mahesh Joshi said that the prosecution drew the court’s attention to the fact that save the mother and the son, there was no one else on the terrace till moments before the mother fell off the terrace.
“CCTV footage recorded by cameras in the apartment building showed the accused helping her mother go up the terrace and then he coming downstairs and returning to his apartment moments later. He went to the ground floor of the building only after a security guard informed him that his mother was lying motionless in parking area of the building. All this had happened within a few seconds. Therefore, we argued that the accused had either done something or had seen something on the terrace,” Joshi told The Indian Express.
The APP said that two other residents of the apartment testified that they had helped the accused take his mother to the terrace.
Sandeep was an assistant professor at BK Mody Government Pharmacy College in Rajkot. After being booked for murder, he was arrested in January 2018 and was in judicial custody since.
The APP said that other witnesses also supported the prosecution’s case. “The victim used to live in Jamnagar but had come to her son’s home in Rajkot after suffering brain haemorrhage… The accused thought that her mother would never recover from her illness and found her to be a burden and therefore, he murdered her. The victim’s daughter Bhavisha and her husband testified against the accused,” said Joshi.
APP Prashant Patel had also argued the case.
During course of investigation, police had said that Sandeep and his wife used to quarrel over his mother’s presence in their house.
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