The father of slain television executive Neeraj Grover has written to the Bombay high court seeking harsher punishment for Kannada actress Maria Susairaj, who was acquitted of murder and walked out of jail in 2011.
The actress and navy officer Emile Jerome were arrested and charged with murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence following Grover’s death in May 2008.
While a sessions court convicted Jerome of culpable homicide and sentenced him to 10 years in jail, Susairaj was found guilty of destroying evidence and sentenced to three years in prison. She was released from prison soon after as she had already served the term as an undertrial.
AN Grover’s letters, sent to the registry in June and July this year have been appended to the state’s appeal against the acquittals of both Susairaj and Jerome under section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
“Almost three years have passed since the state filed appeals for enhancement of punishment to Maria Susairaj and Emile Jerome,” Grover’s letters stated. “Till date nothing has been heard.”
When the matter came up on Thursday, the court sought to know the status of the case but did not pass any orders when it was informed that the matter was already listed for final hearing.
“Appeals are already on the final hearing board. No orders at this stage,” said the bench.
Grover, who is based in Delhi, has appended with his letters four pages of “self-explanatory detailed material from the record” purportedly highlighting the discrepancies and irregularities in the case.
Prefacing his letter with the subject line “exposure of Maria as murderer, conspirator with motive (now enjoying homely life)”, he has said “as per law Maria cannot be kept out of jail”, adding that that he has been “struggling for justice”.
Grover had also previously written to the high court following the sessions court verdict, which the high court had then converted into an appeal in 2012.
Timeline of the case:
May 7, 2008: TV executive Neeraj Grover killed in his apartment after Jerome walks in on Susairaj and Grover. He then allegedly chops up Grover’s body and stuffs the pieces into a bag. Jerome and Susairaj take the bag to a remote area and set it ablaze
May 21, 2008: Susairaj and Jerome arrested
July 2011: Sessions court acquits Susairaj and Jerome on murder charges but convicts Jerome of culpable homicide, convicts Susairaj for destruction of evidence. Susairaj walks free as she has already served three years as an under-trial
Aug 2011: Jerome moves high court against his conviction. Susairaj also appeals against her conviction
Oct 2011: State moves against lower court’s acquittal of both Susairaj and Jerome Sep 2012: High court takes on record letters from AN Grover and permits those to be treated as an appeal. However, court says it cannot fix date for hearing.
June/ July 2014: AN Grover writes to the registry of the high court again seeking punishment for Susairaj and sending further material as evidence.