A Dindoshi sessions court is likely to hear an application in the double murder case of artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Haresh Bhambhani , filed by one of the accused Pradeep Rajbhar alleging that the police forced the confession out of him.
The public prosecutor, on August 8, had told the court that they are yet to decide whether the Kandivli police, the prime investigating agency in the double murders, or the crime branch will file a reply to Rajbhar’s application.
Pradeep had earlier told the sessions court that he confessed under duress and had recorded his confession before a magistrate under provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) on March 8.
The Kandivli police, while filing the charge sheet in May, had attached Pradeep’s confession, in which he had stated that he committed the crime on directions of Hema’s estranged husband Chintan Upadhyay.
In his confession, Pradeep had said, “Chintan told Vidhyadhar “Agar tum Hema ka kaam kardoge toh tumhe bees lakh de dunga.” I asked Vidyadhar what it means. He told me it means to murder Hema.”
While the Kandivli police have filed a charge sheet in the case following the arrest of five accused, the case was transferred to the Mumbai crime branch following an arbitrary order by police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar.
The court had last month also asked the police to file a reply in the matter where the mother of absconding accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar has filed application requesting custody of the Charkop warehouse.
The police have arrested five people, including Chintan and the Rajbhars — Pradeep, Vijay, Shivkumar and a minor accused. In the charge sheet, the Kandivli police submitted that Vidyadhar along with Pradeep, Shivkumar and the minor accused killed Hema and Bhambani at the Charkop warehouse on December 11 last year. Their bodies were dumped in a nearby drain and recovered a day later.