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Mumbai jail inmate assault: Manjula Shetye died of natural causes, claims defence

The defence said the CCTV footage obtained from two jail cameras was doctored as the timings did not match

mumbai Updated: Nov 21, 2017 22:22 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
Mumbai jail inmate death,Manjula Shetye,Yerwada Jail
On Tuesday, defence lawyer Vaibhav Baghade said there were discrepancies in the prosecution’s case and circumstances surrounding Shetye’s death. (HT File)

Byculla Jail inmate Majula Shetye did not die owing to alleged assault but of a prolonged illness, claimed the defence lawyer representing the jail officers booked for her murder.

On Tuesday, defence lawyer Vaibhav Baghade said there were discrepancies in the prosecution’s case and circumstances surrounding Shetye’s death.

Six jail staff had moved a bail plea in August. However, on Tuesday, the bail pleas of three were withdrawn. The defence argued that three other constables — Bindu Naikade, Waseema Shaikh and Surekha Gulve — must be given bail.

Baghade said the state succumbed to the pressure from the Byculla jail inmates and registered a case against six jail staff after Shetye’s death was followed by riots at the prison.

“Shetye was being treated for tuberculosis while she was lodged in Yerwada Jail. The injuries, which the prosecution claims to have found on her body, cannot cause death,” Baghade said.

He added that these were not injury marks, but those formed owing to post-mortem lividity — the settling of blood under the influence of gravity, which develops early in the period after the post-mortem.

The defence said that when the inquest was being conducted, the executive magistrate did not see any injury marks on Shetye’s body. The first mention of these marks appeared only in the post-mortem report.

The defence also alleged that the complainant, inmate Marium Shaikh, said the six staff members sexually assaulted Shetye. However, no other eye-witnesses could back up her claims, he said.

Baghade said the CCTV footage obtained from two jail cameras was doctored as the timings did not match. He added that neither video had an audio track.

The arguments will continue on Wednesday

First Published: Nov 21, 2017 22:22 IST