BBlunt executive’s murder: Court holds both her subordinates guilty | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

BBlunt executive’s murder: Court holds both her subordinates guilty

ByRutuja Gaidhani
May 28, 2024 04:58 PM IST

Mumbai court finds Siddhesh Tamhankar and Khushi Sahjwani guilty of killing colleague Kirti Vyas at BBlunt Salon in 2018. Sentencing set for Tuesday.

MUMBAI: The sessions court on Monday held both the accused – Siddhesh Shantaram Tamhankar, 42, and Khushi Ajay Sahjwani, 46 - guilty of killing their senior colleague at BBlunt Salon, Kirti Vyas, 28, in March 2018. The court has now posted the matter on Tuesday for sentencing.

HT Image
HT Image

While convicting the duo of the murder, additional sessions judge MG Deshpande observed that the case against the two had been proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution.

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The incident took place on March 16, 2018. Vyas, who was working as the finance manager with B­Blunt Salon, as usual, left her house at 9.00am. Around 11:30am, her mother called her for the password of the WIFI installed at their house but found her mobile handset switched off. That day Vyas did not return home at her usual time of around 9.30pm. Worried, her parents again tried to call her mobile number, but found it switched off. Around 11.00 pm, they approached the DB Marg police and reported the 28-year-old missing.

A preliminary probe by the DB Marg police revealed that the victim had boarded an Eco-Sport car in the morning near her residence in Bharat Nagar in Grant Road. On further inquiry, the police found that the car was brought by two of Vyas’ colleagues – Siddhesh Tamhankar and Khushi Sahjwani. Tamhankar had called her on mobile and offered her lift to their office in Andheri. However, the two informed the DB Marg police that the victim got down near Grant Road station, as she had an early meeting in the office and preferred local trains over the road travel to Andheri.

After the case remained unresolved for a period, higher authorities instructed Unit 2 of the crime branch to investigate. Crime branch investigators tracked the car using CCTV footage. They discovered discrepancies in the suspects’ account, as CCTV footage showed the victim in various locations beyond where they claimed to have dropped her. Additionally, analysis of her mobile phone records revealed it was switched off around 9:30 am in Worli.

The mobile phone records of Tamhankar and Sahjwani revealed that they visited port trust areas in Wadala and Mahul late in the evening without explanation. This raised suspicion of their involvement in the disappearance. Subsequently, the crime branch filed an FIR against them on May 4, 2018, and seized their car. Blood stains were discovered in the car, matching samples from the victim’s parents, leading to their arrest on May 24, 2018.

While Sahjwani was later granted bail by the Supreme Court in July 2021, Tamhankar continued to be behind bars, as his multiple bail pleas came to be rejected by the courts.

In his final arguments, special public prosecutor Avadhut Chimalkar claimed that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. “This is, therefore, a case where the severest of punishment deserves to be imposed on both the accused who have for their own selfish motive without a care for the consequences of their criminal act snuffed out the life of a young, budding chartered accountant,” Chimalkar said.

From the sequence of events unfolded by the investigation, he also pointed out how the crime was pre-meditated and well-planned by the duo. The prosecution further highlighted that evidence from the director of BBlunt who had authorised Vyas to decide the matter of termination of Tamhankar indicated that the accused were aware of the impending termination and were trying to convince Vyas otherwise, who was reluctant to take back the termination.

The court has held the two guilty of committing offences punishable under sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 364 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The court will hear both sides on the point of sentencing on Tuesday.

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