While passing the judgement in the Neeraj Grover murder case, the sessions court had relied heavily on Maria Susairaj's confessional statement made in the presence of an investigating officer on May 28, 2008.
In her statement, Susairaj had accused her fiance Emile Jerome of killing Grover, cutting his body into pieces and threatening her to help him dispose of Grover's body. Susairaj also claimed that Jerome raped her twice after he killed Grover.
The court stated that her statement was accepted as the version of events, corroborated by evidence, which had been brought on record by various sources.
On July 1, the court convicted the former naval officer of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment; Susairaj was convicted for destroying evidence and sentenced to three years imprisonment.
The copies of the verdict were handed over to Jerome and Susairaj on Monday. In his 177-page judgment, additional sessions judge MW Chandwani said that Jerome stabbed Grover on the spur of the moment, due to which he could not be convicted for murder. "Circumstances which are proved by the prosecution show that accused no. 2 (Jerome) left Cochin suddenly and without any preparation. Looking at the weapon of assault, which is a kitchen knife, shows that Jerome had no premeditation to kill Neeraj," he said.
"Susairaj's confessional statement is the only one on record. The court found that there was evidence to corroborate it, due to which there was no room for other theories even though parts of her statement are contradictory," said Wahab Khan, Jerome's advocate.