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Hema Upadhyay murder: Chintan’s lawyer is using state machinery to his advantage, says Hema’s lawyer

Hema’s family will move the Bombay High Court next week with a petition to remove Raja Thakare from the case

mumbai Updated: Sep 13, 2017 00:50 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Hema Upadhyay murder,Haresh Bhambhani
Advocate Vinod Gangwal, Hema’s aunt Shila Udhadhyay and her brother Manish Hirani at a press conference at Press Club in Mumbai on Tuesday. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

Family of slain artist Hema Upadhyay alleged that Raja Thakare, lawyer representing her husband Chintan, Mumbai crime branch and sections of the media were watering down the murder case of Hema and her lawyer . Vinod Gangwal, advocate for Hema's family, said since Thakare has represented the state in various cases in the past, "he is using state machinery to his advantage in the murder case”.

Hema’s family will move the Bombay High Court next week with a petition to remove Thakare from the case and to expedite the trial.

Gangwal said, “Raja Thakare has represented the state in major cases such as the Best Bakery case and Arun Gawli's case among many high profile ones. All of a sudden, in this matter, Thakare is representing Chintan. The state’s machinery works under such an advocate and he can get information by calling any ACP, DCP for the reports.”

READ MORE: One and a half years later, key suspect in murders of Hema Upadhyay and Harish Bhambani still at large

The family plans to approach the HC demanding that the state change the counsel in the case and also the trial be expedited. Charges are yet to be framed in the case which is going on in Dindoshi sessions court.

Gangwal also questioned Mumbai police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar’s decision to abruptly transfer the probe from Kandivli police to unit 7 of Mumbai crime branch.“All of a sudden, on May 18, 2016, the commissioner transferred the case to the crime branch. The order was arbitrary and against the rules. It was transferred at the request of Chintan. Neither of the deceased persons’ families asked for a transfer,” said Gangwal.

READ MORE:Hema-Bhambhani murders: Chintan Upadhyay says probe is prejudiced

Raising questions on the crime branch’s investigation, he said, “The fifth accused [Vidhyadhar Rajbhar] was close to being arrested but the case was transferred abruptly. Since then, there has been no progress. While the crime branch filed a supplementary chargesheet, there is not a single document in there that shows they conducted further investigation. All the statements in the chargesheet are that of before May 18, which were recorded by Kandivli police.”

Gangwal also blamed a section of the media for sympathising with Chintan by publishing reports of the art exhibition inside Thane jail. “The cost of Chintan’s each painting is between Rs50 lakh and Rs1 crore. The report said he gave the painting to jail authorities. When we filed an RTI, we were told that IG prisons Rajyavardhan Sinha did not receive any such painting,” the advocate added.

First Published: Sep 13, 2017 00:50 IST