Delhi court to hear arguments on charges against Shraddha murder accused on Mar 7

New Delhi |Saturday, 2023 1:15:10 AM IST
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A Delhi court on Friday listed for March 7 hearing on the charges against Aaftab Amin Poonawala for allegedly strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar and then chopping her body into several pieces.

Principal District and Sessions Judge Narottam Kaushal assigned the case to the court of Additional Sessions Judge Manisha Khurana Kakkar, who has now fixed the date for the hearing.

On February 21, the city's Saket court on had sent the case to the sessions court for initiation of trial proceedings.

Metropolitan Magistrate Aviral Shukla had said: "Scrutiny of documents is complete... Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code is exclusively triable by sessions court."

"The accused be produced before Principal District and Sessions Judge on February 24 at 2 p.m.."

Poonawala had requested the court at the hearing for permission to carry a copy of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a notebook, and a pen to the proceedings so that he could take notes and help his counsel.

In response, Poonawala was directed to file an application before the Sessions court.

On February 13, Poonawala had filed applications in the court for release of a 'proper' soft copy of the charge sheet and his educational certificates to pursue higher studies.

The court had on February 7 taken cognisance of the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police against Poonawala.

On January 24, the police had filed the charge sheet in the case which contains over 6,000 pages, and the court had extended his custody for 14 days.

Poonawala, in one of his applications, had alleged that the police's charge sheet -- prepared on the basis of forensic and electronic evidence, having around 100 witnesses -- has "falsely implicated" him in the case.

He had also contended that the prosecution intentionally provided a digital copy of the charge sheet, which is not legible.

In the two applications, filed by the accused's counsel M.S. Khan, the first plea had stated that he was falsely implicated in the present case and was languishing in jail.

Poonawala, who is lodged in Tihar Jail, had also stated in his plea that he wants to pursue higher studies, and hence wants all his certificates. He also immediately requires stationery items like pen, pencil and notebook.

The second plea sought a soft copy of the charge sheet in a 'proper' way.

"The charge sheet in the soft copy or pen drive is not proper as the prosecution intentionally provided the soft copy which cannot be read," his plea had said.

The pen drive was overloaded and not supported by advanced computers and that the video footage was mismanaged, he had claimed.

Poonawala had requested the court to pass an order directing the investigating officer to supply the soft copy in a folder-wise manner and the video footage may be in other pen drives as filed in the charge sheet.

Poonawala has been accused of killing Walkar and then chopping her body into several pieces and storing them in a refrigerator before disposing of them in the Chhatarpur forest area over a period of three months.

--IANS spr/vd

( 533 Words)

2023-02-24-19:24:02 (IANS)