'Pravin’s fingerprints not on revolver' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Pravin’s fingerprints not on revolver'

A fingerprint expert tells the court that the revolver surrendered by Pravin Mahajan after he allegedly shot his brother does not bear his fingerprints, reports S Shivdasani.

india Updated: Jul 26, 2007 02:31 IST
Sunil Shivdasani

In a jolt to the prosecution in the Pramod Mahajan murder case, a fingerprint expert told the trial court on Wednesday that the revolver surrendered by Pravin Mahajan after he allegedly shot his brother did not bear his fingerprint impressions.

Fingerprint expert Rekha Vaidya told Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam that she was called to the Worli police station on April 22, 2006, soon after senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan was shot at his residence.

“I examined the weapon but found no fingerprints. If the surface of the revolver is rough and the person handling it does not perspire, then impressions cannot be found,” she told Judge SP Daware.

She, however, claimed that the fingerprints on the glass recovered from Pramod’s house matched Pravin’s.

According to the police, Pravin was offered a glass of water and tea when he went to his brother’s house at Worli. Pravin then allegedly shot him and surrendered the revolver to the Worli police. Vaidya is yet to be examined by the prosecution.

Asked whether the lack of fingerprints on the revolver would demolish the police case, Nikam said they had other evidence to indicate Pravin’s hand in the crime.

“We are also relying on ballastic reports, which prove the bullets recovered from Pramod’s body were fired from the same revolver surrendered by Pravin,” he said.

Nikam also examined Dr Kautub Singh, casualty ward in-charge of Hinduja hospital, who said Pramod had three bullet injuries. Accompanied by his wife Rekha and brother-in-law Gopinath Munde, he was conscious at the time.

“I asked Rekha about the injuries and she said Pravin had shot at him,” Kautub said.

During cross-examination, however, Singh admitted to defence lawyer Harshad Ponda that medical papers mentioned that Rekha said Pravin had fired only two bullets.