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Sarangi admits to sending SMS to Pramod Mahajan
November 22, 2007 23:33 IST
Sarangi, wife of Pravin Mahajan, on Thursday told the Mumbai sessions court that she had sent the "controversial" SMS to Pramod Mahajan on April 15 last year.
Sarangi told the court of additional sessions judge S P Davare that she had sent the SMS to Pramod Mahajan on her husband's behest and the SMS brought before the court by the prosecution was tampered with.
According to the prosecution, Pravin had sent a threatening SMS to Pramod a few days before he shot him on April 22 last year. Pramod succumbed to his injuries on May 3.
During her deposition, Sarangi denied the contention of the prosecution and said the SMS she had sent stated: "I have spoken to you on phone, I am asking when to meet you, let me know."
She did not tell anybody about this SMS, Sarangi said during her cross-examination.
"I was shocked when I read newspaper reports on the threatening SMS, which prosecution said Pravin had sent to Pramod," she said. Sarangi told the court that she had dialled Pramod's number and gave the phone to Pravin on April 13, 2006. She said that she was unaware of the conversation between the brothers.
On April 14, while moving out of the house, Pravin handed over her a chit, which had a telephone number and asked her to SMS and fix a meeting with Pramod.
"He did not tell me the content of the text. I typed the SMS on my own," Sarangi said. Prosecution sought to examine one more witness -- Pratap Ashar, who was the late leader's campaign manager, following Sarangi's deposition as defence witness.
Sarangi forgot to send the SMS on April 14, 2006. She recollected the next day and sent it, she said. The prosecution alleged that Sarangi had taken a cue from the statement of defence witness B Harikrishna, a computer expert who demonstrated to the court that SMS could be tampered with.
"She was lying to protect her husband," prosecutor Niteen Pradhan said.
"You are lying. I have stated the facts," Sarangi told him. After Sarangi's deposition, the prosecution sought to examine Ashar as the latter had recorded in his police statement that Pravin had called him up on April 13, 2006, asking for Pramod.
Pradhan later told reporters, "Ashar had also told the police that he had handed the phone to Pramod. Pramod told Pravin that he could not talk as he did not have time and he was leaving for Assam on April 14. Saying this, Pramod disconnected the phone."
Prosecution also filed an application seeking to send Pramod Mahajan's phone to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory at Hyderabad to confirm if it had been tampered with. Defence counsel Harshad Ponda then sought time to file a reply to the applications by November 28, when the case will be heard next.