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Mahajan was probably blackmailed by secretary Moitra: Pravin
January 23, 2008 14:09 IST
Pravin Mahajan, sentenced to life imprisonment in December for the murder of his elder brother and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan, has said in his appeal before the Bombay high court that the senior BJP leader was being blackmailed by his secretary Vivek Moitra.
A part of his deposition -- dealing with the sequence of events at Pramod's residence before Pravin shot him -- was recorded in-camera.
In the appeal, Pravin said he went to meet Pramod on the morning of April 22, 2006, to tell his brother that his secretary Vivek Moitra was blackmailing him.
The appeal does not say why and how Moitra blackmailed Pramod. It only says Moitra in all probability was blackmailing Pramod.
Pramod did not say anything when Pravin asked him as to how Moitra came to know about the BJP leader's relationship with one Alaknanda, the appeal says.
"This prompted Pravin to say that Pramod was a fit candidate for blackmail," the appeal added.
Then, according to Pravin, Pramod made certain remarks about the former's wife Sarangi. Pravin felt there was no use discussing the matter further, so he picked up the pistol lying on the table and was ready to leave.
Pramod however feared he wanted to do something, so he tried to grab the pistol, and shots were fired accidentally in the ensuing scuffle, the appeal says.
As to the trial court's verdict, the appeal says the court should not have considered testimonies of Pramod's wife Rekha and his brother-in-law and senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde as both were tutored witnesses.
Rekha Mahajan tried to invent a false motive by telling the court that Pravin had demanded Rs 1 crore from Pramod a few days before the murder, it says.
The court should not have give credence to a threatening SMS sent by Pravin to Pramod either, appeal says, adding it was demonstrated before trial court by an expert witness that text messages could be tampered with.
It also questions Mahajan's statement to Munde on the way to hospital 'What was my offence that Pravin shot me?'
It says Rekha had not mentioned this in her statement to police, though she was in the car when Pramod was talking with Munde.
Mahajan would not have been in the condition to speak after losing so much blood, it says. It further points out that Pramod always called Pravin as Chandu, not by his name.