Hema Upadhyay murder case: Mumbai Police produce ‘missing’ tempo before the court
The Mumbai Police on Tuesday produced the tempo, allegedly used for disposal of the bodies of artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Haresh Bhambani, before the sessions court.
Upadhyay and Bhambani were allegedly smothered with a chloroform-laced cloth at a warehouse owned by one of the accused, Vidhyadhar Rajbhar, on December 11, 2015. The killers then packed their bodies in boxes and dumped them in a sewer in Kandivli. The prosecution has alleged that the tempo, belonging to another accused, Vijay Rajbhar, was used to transport the dead bodies from the warehouse to the sewer.
Vijay’s lawyer Hassan Ali Moomen confirmed the development but said the tempo is not in the court’s custody.
The tempo was seized by the police during the investigation in 2016. On October 21, 2016, Vijay’s father Ramadhar was allowed to take custody of the tempo with the police. He was asked to sign a bond stating that he would present the tempo before the court during the trial whenever asked for it.
However, when the court asked Ramadhar to produce the tempo on one of the previous occasions, he said it was sold by Vijay’s wife. As Ramadhar failed to produce the tempo, the court on November 27 had directed the police to look for the vehicle and bring it before the court and also gave Ramadhar the last chance to produce the tempo. Meanwhile, Ramadhar on Tuesday moved an application claiming that the tempo was never seized by the police during the probe and his son has been falsely implicated. The prosecution has denied the claims.
The prosecution also examined another witness, who had helped Rajbhar to travel to Bengaluru in August 2015 to buy chloroform. Moomen has alleged that the witness is fake.
The main accused in the case, Upadhyay’s estranged husband Chintan, was arrested on December 22, 2015. The police believe Rajbhar committed the murder at Chintan’s behest over a property dispute.