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Shivani case: Key witness turns hostile
September 22, 2003 21:42 IST
A key witness in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case on Monday turned hostile.
Suresh Kumar Kukreja, a 'family friend' of prime accused IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma, had earlier 'admitted' he had given his mobile phone to Sharma during the latter's stay in Pune in January 1999.
"I never gave my mobile to R K Sharma at any point of time," Kukreja told Additional Sessions Judge J M Malik. The earlier statement, he added, was made under pressure.
According to the prosecution, Sharma had used this phone, which was borrowed from Kukreja to keep in touch with the co-accused in the case.
Kukreja's version is in sharp contrast to what he stated before a magistrate in October last while recording his statement under Section 164 of the CrPC.
Kukreja, a businessman, had told the magistrate that Sharma had borrowed his mobile phone during a trip to Pune in January 1999. "Later Sharma sent me the SIM card of the phone to my residence in Delhi from Bombay, which I received on January 25, 1999," he had said.
Departing from that statement today, Kukreja said he had in fact handed over the instrument minus its SIM card for repair, as it was malfunctioning.
A fire, however, had gutted the repair shop destroying his mobile phone in the process, he said.
For the loss caused, the shopkeeper had given him a cheque of Rs 5000, Kukreja claimed.
He denied suggestions that the story was cooked up.