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Mahajan murder: Munde admits omitting some points

April 25, 2007 01:02 IST
Late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan's brother-in-law Gopinath Munde on Tuesday admitted he had omitted some points while recording his statement with police regarding his murder in 2006.

Continuing his deposition in the murder trial before Additional Sessions Judge Srihari Davre, Munde said his converstion with Mahajan in a car, while the latter was being rushed to hospital on April 22, 2006 after being shot by his younger brother Pravin, was not recorded.

Mahajan was shot by Pravin at point blank range and died later in hospital.

While being taken to hospital, Mahajan puportedly asked Munde what his fault was for having been shot by his own brother.

Munde told the court that he had replied by saying, "Pravin had done it for greed of money." His response was not recorded in the statement taken by police, he said.

He disclosed he never told police about his knowledge of Pravin's alleged "threatening" SMS to Mahajan or that Mahajan had called him after receiving it and suggested that Munde talk to Pravin regarding the matter.

Coincidentally, on the same day, Pravin had visited Munde's house.

When Munde tried to explain to Pravin his wrongdoings, the latter dismissed the matter, saying it was a "family affair" and that he did not appreciate Munde's interference.

When questioned by the defence as to why these points were omitted in the statement given to police, Munde said he had not been in the right frame of mind while recording the statement as doctors had informed him that day that there was little probability of Mahajan's survival.

It also did not strike him to ask police to record a subsequent statement, Munde said.

Defence counsel Harshad Ponda then asked Munde if he understood the gravity of the situation when delaying the recording of his statement with police.

Munde had told the court that he was handling the situation in the hospital as an elder of the family.

Though it did strike him to give the statement earlier, he could not as Mahajan was critical and his sister-in-law Rekha was not keeping well.

Also, there were thousands of visitors at the hospital, Munde said.

Ponda then told the court that since Munde had held the post of state home minister during 1995-1999 and had control of the police department, was he not aware that such a delay would affect the credibility of the witness.

The special public prosecutor objected to the question, saying that such a delay was valid and acceptable in law if a witness or an investigating officer could satisfactorily explain it.

The court adjourned the case to Wednesday.

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