Kirti Vyas murder case: Court hands life terms to two convicts | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Kirti Vyas murder case: Court hands life terms to two convicts

ByRutuja Gaidhani
May 29, 2024 09:38 AM IST

Additional sessions judge MG Deshpande handed life terms to the duo – Siddhesh Shantaram Tamhankar, 42, and Khushi Ajay Sahjwani, 46

MUMBAI: The sessions court on Tuesday sentenced two colleagues of Kirti Vyas, a former finance manager at BBlunt salon in Andheri, to life imprisonment for murdering her in March 2018. Additional sessions judge MG Deshpande handed life terms to the duo – Siddhesh Shantaram Tamhankar, 42, and Khushi Ajay Sahjwani, 46 – observing that it was not a rarest of the rare case warranting capital punishment.

Kirti Vyas
Kirti Vyas

Earlier, at around 12pm on Tuesday, Sahjwani appeared in court with tears rolling down her cheeks, claiming that she was not guilty, and the police had planted evidence against her. Tamhankar’s advocate, on the other hand, sought leniency for him, claiming that the entire case was based on circumstantial evidence.

Vyas, 28, was reported missing by her parents on the evening of March 16, 2018. She had left home for work that morning at around 9.00am but did not return at her usual time of 9.30pm. Her mobile phone was also switched off throughout the day, her parents told the DB Marg police.

During investigation, police found that Vyas had boarded an Eco-Sport car in the morning near her residence in Grant Road as Tamhankar and Sahjwani had offered her a lift to their office in Andheri. But the duo informed the DB Marg police that she alighted their car near Grant Road station as she had an early meeting in the office and preferred local trains over the road travel.

As there was little progress in the case for weeks, unit 2 of Mumbai police’s crime branch was roped in for investigation. Police then tracked the car using CCTV footage and discovered discrepancies in the suspects’ accounts – CCTV footage showed Vyas in locations beyond where they claimed to have dropped her.

While analysis of Vyas’ mobile phone records revealed it was switched off around 9:30am on May 16 in Worli, mobile phone records of Tamhankar and Sahjwani showed they had visited the port trust area in Wadala and Mahul late the same evening. The duo, however, failed to explain their presence in these areas, raising suspicions about their involvement in her disappearance. Subsequently, on May 4, the crime branch filed an FIR against them and seized their car. They also found Vyas’ blood stains in the car and arrested the duo on May 24, 2018. Though Sahjwani was granted bail by the Supreme Court in July 2021, Tamhankar continued to be behind bars as his multiple bail pleas were rejected.

In his final arguments, special public prosecutor Avadhut Chimalkar pointed out that the crime was pre-meditated and well-planned by the duo. He also highlighted the statement of the director of BBlunt, who had authorised Vyas to decide on the termination of Tamhankar’s job, indicating the accused were aware of the impending termination and were trying to convince Vyas otherwise. Claiming that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt, he said, “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.”

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