Three months after one of the accused in the Hema Upadhyay-Harish Bhambhani double murder said he was forced to confess, neither the crime branch nor the Kandivli police have filed a reply to the application yet. Although the crime branch was prepared to file a reply on Wednesday, the sessions court did not accept it as the prosecutor in the case had not signed it.
On June 27, Pradeep Rajbhar had filed an application before the Dindoshi sessions court, saying he had been “pressured by the police machinery, who threatened his family to get the confession.”
Crime branch officials prepared a reply to Rajbhar’s application after the court, on September 2, ordered them and the Kandivli police to submit a reply.
Unit 7 of the crime branch, currently investigating the double murder, informed the court that the special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam is unavailable for the hearing. Due to his absence., the reply was not filed even on Wednesday.
“The prosecution files a reply and not the Investigating Officer. How can a reply be filed without the signature of the prosecutor? Follow the procedure,” additional sessions judge Farooq Khwaja told the battery of defence lawyers.
The hearing was adjourned to October 21.
The Kandivli police — while filing the charge-sheet in May — had attached Pradeep’s confession, in which he stated he committed the crime acting on the instructions of Hema’s estranged husband Chintan Upadhyay.
In the confession detailing Hema and Bhambani’s murder, Pradeep had allegedly confessed, “Chintan told Vidhyadhar ’Agar tum Hema ka kaam kardoge toh tumhe 20 lakh de dunga (If you do the work, I will give you Rs20 lakh).’ I asked Vidhyadhar what it means. He told me it means to murder Hema.”
The court will hear the application on the confession along with Chintan’s bail application at the next hearing.