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BSP MP, wife sent to judicial custody in maid murder case

November 11, 2013 18:20 IST

Bahujan Samaj Party MP Dhananjay Singh and his wife Jagriti, arrested in connection with the murder of their maid, were on Monday remanded to four-day judicial custody by a court after the Delhi Police said they are waiting for some reports and will confront the accused with them later.

Dhananjay, BSP MP from Jaunpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, and Jagriti, a dental surgeon at the R M L Hospital, were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha on expiry of their five days' police custody.

Dhananjay and Jagriti were arrested on November 5 in connection with the death of their 35-year-old maid Rakhi Bhadra, a resident of West Bengal.

The police moved an application seeking four-day judicial custody of both the accused saying their further police custody may be required to confront them with Digital Video Recorders which have been sent to forensic science laboratory in Rohini for examination as well as for expert opinion.

Additional Public Prosecutor Mukul Kumar told the court that the forensic experts require some time to retrieve the data of DVRs, which were provided by Dhananjay to the police, and they might take custody of the accused later on to confront them with the reports and opinions.

The magistrate allowed the police's plea and sent both the accused to judicial custody till November 15.

During the proceedings, Dhananjay moved an application seeking bail and the court directed the police to file its response on November 15, the date on which it will hear the plea.

The prosecutor told the court that at this stage, the accused need to be sent to judicial custody as some more evidence will be collected during this period.

Senior advocate Hariharan, who appeared for Dhananjay, claimed nothing has surfaced in the five days of police custody and the police are now seeking to send his client in judicial custody in anticipation that they might get something during this period.

The prosecutor countered the submissions of Dhananjay's counsel saying "we can confront accused with the FSL reports when they will be received."

The magistrate also pointed out to the defence counsel that it is not "anticipation" as the FSL report is awaited.

Regarding Dhananjay's bail application, the court asked Hariharan whether he wanted to press it at this stage or at a later stage.

"You want to press the bail application at this stage. I think it's too early keeping in view that the investigation is at a preliminary stage... You can file or press it at a later stage," the magistrate said.

Hariharan said if police would file its reply to it, then they will press their application. At this stage, the prosecutor said they need at least a day's time to file their response, after which the court fixed it for November 15.

During the hearing, Jagriti's counsel Pankaj Kumar told the court that his client is in "acute mental depression" and the investigating officer should have said this to the court.

He referred to media reports and claimed that his client is suffering from "bouts of uncontrolled behaviour".

The court, however, told him to produce relevant medical documents in this regard before it.

The prosecutor too told the court that as of now Jagriti is medically fit and her counsel should not go with media reports.

Dhananjay's counsel also pressed his application filed earlier seeking to preserve the call details records of two mobile numbers used by the MP and also the mirror image of the DVRs.

The BSP MP's counsel apprised the court about the application for release of personal belongings of Dhananjay which were seized by the police when he was arrested on November 5.

The prosecutor said the police want to keep the twomobile phones which were seized from Dhananjay and they have no objection on release of other articles.

He also said the DVRs and mobile phones have already been sent to FSL for examination and said phone call detail records have already been preserved and the request for preserving the same has been sent to the mobile service provider.

Regarding Dhananjay's plea to preserve the CCTV footage of Chanakyapuri police station, the police said the cameras installed do not preserve anything as it records only live feed.

The court disposed off Dhananjay's plea and directed the FSL, Rohini, to preserve the call detail records and DVRs.

During the hearing, Dhananjay's counsel said the police should tell the court as to what they have done during the five days of police custody of both the accused and his client's only crime is that he is married to Jagriti.

At the conclusion of the proceedings, the court said it wanted to talk to both the accused in-chamber.

The police had earlier told the court that besides Rakhi, there were two more domestic helps, including a 17-year-old boy, employed at their 175, South Avenue residence in Chanakyapuri and they were also beaten up mercilessly by Jagriti, 29, and Dhananjay, 38.

One of the maids, Meena, was severely injured and was undergoing treatment at a hospital, it had said, adding that the domestic helps were beaten up by wooden sticks, iron rods, iron and even metallic deer horns by the accused.

The minor boy was also produced in the court and he had shown to the judge the severe injuries inflicted on him.

Regarding Dhananjay, the police had said he tried to destroy the video recording of 20 CCTV cameras installed in his house after the incident.

The body of Rakhi, who had been working at the MP's house from past one year, bearing burn marks and injuries on the chest, stomach, arms and legs, was recovered from the lawmaker's residence at South Avenue here in the evening of November 4 after Dhananjay informed the police.

Dhananjay, who already faces charges of murder, extortion and other offences under the Gangsters Act, was arrested for allegedly destroying evidence, not informing police about the maid's death immediately and employing a juvenile as domestic help.

Jagriti has been arrested under sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 344 (wrongful confinement) of Indian Penal code and Juvenile Justice Act.

The juvenile had told the police that Jagriti had been regularly beating up the three domestic helps, including Rakhi, on petty issues. Rakhi was brutally beaten on Diwali night and she succumbed to her injuries the next morning, it had said.

Jagriti had called Dhananjay and informed him about the maid's death, it had said.

The police had said the CCTV cameras were installed in the MP's house to keep tabs on servants' movements and Jagriti controlled cameras through her mobile phone and TV set.

Image: BSP MP Dhananjay Singh

Photograph Courtesy: ANI

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