Kannada actress Maria Monica Susairaj and her naval officer fiancé Emile Jerome Mathew were acquitted of the charge of murdering media executive Neeraj Grover, primarily because of want of cogent evidence.
The fact that the killing happened in the flat and then the body was hacked and disposed of somewhere else made it impossible for the Mumbai police crime branch to obtain any cogent forensic and medical evidence to nail the culprits.
The prosecution had primarily relied upon circumstantial evidence to bring home guilt of the duo. Confident of having enough evidence to nail the duo, chief public prosecutor Ramnath Kini had decided not to rely on Susairaj’s statement.
The trial court accepted parts of the confession, which stated Grover’s death was a result of his altercation with Mathew.
The court discarded the conspiracy theory, primarily considering that the weapon used to kill Grover — a kitchen knife — was not specifically brought in by the accused, and that it was a spur of the moment which resulted in the victim’s death.
In absence of any evidence suggesting common intention or premeditation, the court held Mathew guilty for committing a culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Susairaj, in her statement, had stated that under duress she had helped Jerome in disposing of the body parts. But, the trial court refused to believe her confession that she helped Mathew under duress.