Neeraj Grover murder: Jerome, Maria get light convictions
Former navy officer Emile Jerome and Kannada actress Maria Susairaj were on Friday convicted by a local court in the case related to the killing of television executive Neeraj Grover though they were let off on murder charges.
Jerome was found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (with intention to cause death) under sections 304 (Part I) Indian Penal Code and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence).
Maria was convicted only on charges of causing disappearance of evidence as the court did not found her and Jerome guilty for the murder of Grover.
While delivering the verdict, the court observed that Jerome had acted in a spur of the moment and there was no pre-meditation to kill Grover.
Image: Television executive Neeraj Grover
Susairaj may walk free on Friday
According to the prosecution, Jerome had gone to Maria's residence in suburban Malad on May 7, 2008 where he got into a fight with Grover, 26, during which the naval officer stabbed the victim to death. Susairaj and Jerome later cut the body of Grover into pieces and disposed it of in Manor forest in neighbouring Thane.
Both the accused had been charged with murder, criminal conspiracy, common intent and causing disappearance of evidence.
Public prosecutor R V Kini urged the court to keep the matter on Friday to decide on the sentence to be awarded to the accused.
However, Susairaj's lawyer Sharif Shaikh said that Maria was found guilty under section 201 IPC for which maximum punishment was three years imprisonment and that she had already undergone the term during the trial. Hence, she should be given bail on Thursday. .
The court then said it would hear both the sides on Friday on the sentence to be given to the accused. She may, however, may walk free on Friday.
Image: Maria Susairaj being taken to court
Extremely disappointed with verdict: Grover's father
Outside the court, Grover's parents said they were not happy with the judgment. His mother Neelam told reporters that Maria was the main culprit, who had called Jerome to her home leading to Grover's killing. Neelam said Susairaj should not have been absolved of murder charges.
Grover's father Amarnath said he was unhappy and that the judgment was disappointing for them.
Susairaj's lawyer Sharif Shaikh said she was a victim of the circumstances and the court had absolved her of murder charges.
She came to Mumbai on May 1, 2008, few days before Grover's murder and in such a short span of time she could not have sought favours from him for a role in TV serial as had been alleged by the prosecution, Shaikh told reporters.
Image: Emile Jerome Mathew