Thirteen years after the gruesome murder of a Canadian national, Dr Asha Goel, the case has finally been committed to the sessions court for a trial against her relatives. Dr Goel, 62, was murdered on August 14, 2003. She was murdered at her brother Suresh Agarwal’s residence in Malabar Hill. Police found 21 injuries on her body, including a massive head injury, a broken jaw, a ruptured liver and numerous stab wounds.
The case was registered with Malabar police station and was later transferred to the Mumbai crime branch. However, since 2006, the case has been stuck in legal tangle in the higher courts. Last month, the magistrate court finally committed the case to the sessions court for trial following the Supreme Court’s directive.
Following investigation, the crime branch booked four people: Narendra Goel, Agarwal’s son-in-law, Pradeep Parab, Pawankumar Goenka and Manohar Shinde. The prosecution had alleged that the accused took care of properties belonging to the Agarwals and were allegedly paid by one of the brothers.
Of the four accused, Parab has been declared as an approver in the case.
In 2005, the magistrate’s court had committed the case for a trial to the sessions court. In 2006, when the court was to frame the charges against the accused, they moved for discharge from the case. But the sessions court rejected their plea in 2012. The same year, all remaining accused moved the Bombay high court, contending that the magistrate’s court had failed to follow the procedure while declaring Parab as an approver. They alleged that Parab was not examined as a witness by the magistrate’s court while declaring him as an approver.
Realising the error, the prosecution moved an application before the sessions court to remand the case back to the magistrate’s court. The plea was accepted and the case was remitted to the magistrate’s court in 2012. Later, when the prosecution examined Parab as witness, the accused sought for his cross examination. Although the prosecution objected to defence’s plea, the court allowed Parab’s cross-examination. The issue later was challenged by the prosecution. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court in September this year asked the magistrate’s court to commit the case for trial to the sessions court.