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Munib Memon’s bail plea rejected (2012 Pune blast case) : Bombay High Court



MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has rejected the bail plea of Munib Memon (38), one of the nine accused arrested for his alleged role in the conspiracy to trigger four bomb blasts on the Jangli Maharaj Road in Pune in August 2012.

A bench of justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh said Memon’s complicity in the conspiracy was evident from confessional statements of three other accused in the case and turned down the argument that he had been in custody for a long time. The bench said charges have been framed against the accused on May 25, 2022 and the prosecution intends to examine 107 witnesses to bring home the guilt of the nine accused.

Four low-intensity bombs, placed on bicycle baskets, went off near prominent spots along Jangli Maharaj Road, a prominent business area within Pune city, on August 1, 2012, and the fifth bomb was diffused. A local resident, who picked up a bag containing one of the four bombs, suffered minor injuries after he opened the bag.

“Having regard to the gravity of the offence, the role of the appellant, the evidence qua him and above observations made by us, we also decline to consider the appellant’s plea for bail on the ground of delay in commencement of the trial,” said the bench.

The court, however, directed the trial court to conclude the trial by December 2023, keeping with the right of the accused to a speedy trial.

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which initially investigated the case before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case, arrested nine people, including Memon. ATS alleged that the blasts were planned to avenge the death of Quatil Siddique, a member of Indian Mujahideen, who was arrested for conspiracy to trigger a blast at a temple in Pune and was killed in Yerawada jail by two other inmates.

ATS said the accused initially planned to kill Sharad Mohol and Alok Bhalerao, the two men suspected to have killed Siddique when they were brought to court, but when the plan did not succeed. They later decided to carry out bomb attacks.

To be sure, Sharad Mohol and Alok Bhalerao were acquitted of the murder charge in June 2019.

In his request for bail, Munib Memon argued that he was made an accused only because he was employed with Firoz Sayyed, another accused in the case and the prosecution only accused him of getting some SIM cards on the basis of bogus documents prepared by another co-accused.

He also said that he had already spent 9 years and 9 months in jail.

Special public prosecutor Vaibhav Bagade, appearing for NIA, contended that Memon was present at a meeting where the attack was discussed and was entrusted the job of obtaining some SIM cards on the basis of bogus documents. The SIM cards were used in the commission of the crime.


Rs 200 crore money laundering case: Delhi court defers hearing till Dec 12




 A Delhi court on Thursday deferred till December 12, the hearing in a money laundering case involving Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez and multi-millionaire conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar.

Fernandez appeared in the Patiala House court in connection with the case this morning.

Earlier, on November 15, the court had granted pre-arrest bail to the actress.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had recently filed its second supplementary chargesheet naming Jacqueline as an accused. On September 26, the court had granted interim protection from arrest to her.
Fernandes and another Bollywood personality, Nora Fatehi, have recorded their statements as witnesses in the case.

Assets and fixed deposits worth Rs 7.2 crore belonging to Fernandez were attached by the ED. The probe agency termed these gifts and properties as “proceeds” of crime received by the actresses.

In February, the ED had filed its first supplementary charge sheet against Pinky Irani, an alleged aide to Chandrashekhar who introduced him to Bollywood actors.

It had been alleged in the chargesheet that Pinky used to choose expensive gifts for Jacqueline and drop them
at her residence after Chandrashekhar made the payments.

Last December, the probe agency had filed the first chargesheet in this matter before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Praveen Singh.

As per official sources, Chandrashekhar has spent around 20 crore on different models and Bollywood celebrities. A few had refused to accept gifts from him.

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Maharashtra to probe police ‘inaction’ on Shraddha’s SOS letter




Taking strong cognisance, the Maharashtra government has ordered a probe into the Palghar Police’s ‘inaction’ on a letter written by Shraddha Walkar in November 2020, apprehending death threats from her live-in partner Aftab Amin Poonawala.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, said he had seen the contents which were “very serious”, and said the matter needs to be investigated.

“Without blaming anybody, we need to know the truth… If the police had acted in a timely manner, this (killing of Shraddha by Poonawala) could have been avoided,” Fadnavis told mediapersons.

On November 23, 2020, Walkar had submitted a written complaint to the Tulinj Police Station expressing apprehensions from her Aftab and how he threatened to “kill and cut her into pieces”.

The letter, which has just surfaced, was duly acknowledged by the local police, who also said that though they had probed the matter, Shraddha later gave another letter withdrawing her previous complaint, signalling an end to the issue.

In her hand-penned plea, she sounded distressed, stating that Aftab was beating her up, blackmailing her and was threatening to murder her and cut her body into pieces.

Nearly two years later now, Shraddha’s worst fears proved true with Aftab’s arrest on November 12 for her gory killing in Delhi on may 18, chopping her body into many pieces and then disposing them off over several weeks.

In her letter, Shraddha, then 25, mentioned how she and Aftab, then 26, were living together in Vijay Vihar Complex, but he had been abusing and beating her up for six months.

“Today he tried to kill me by suffocating me and he scared and blackmails me that he will kill me cut me up in pieces and throw me away.

“It has been six months he has been beating me. I did not have the guts to go to the police because he would threaten to kill me,” she wrote in the letter.

In a shocking revelation, Shraddha said that Aftab’s parents “are aware that he beats me and that he tried to kill me”.

“They also know about we living together and they visit us on weekends. I lived with him till date as we were supposed to get married anytime soon and had the blessings of his family.”

Apparently fed up, she declared that “henceforth, I am not willing to live with him, so any kind of physical damage should be considered coming from him as he has been blackmailing to kill me or hurt me whenever he sees me anywhere”.

A police officer had even gone to the rented house in Vasai east, where the young couple resided, to conduct an enquiry but she categorically told them that said she didn’t want to pursue the matter, according to local media.

Since she had already given a letter withdrawing her earlier complaint the police said they couldn’t force her to pursue the case or even forcibly enter her home.

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“In Heat Of Moment”, Says Aaftab Poonawala In Court On Killing Girlfriend




The Saket court today extended the police custody of Aaftab Poonawala to four more days after he was produced before the court via video conferencing in a special hearing. His five-day custody had ended today.Aaftab Ameen Poonawala, accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend Shraddha Walkar, today admitted in a Delhi court that he killed her “in the heat of the moment”. He also alleged that whatever is being said about him now is “not entirely true”.28-year-old Aaftab said he has been cooperating with the police, and has also given maps of the location where he dumped the body parts. He assured the court that he would provide all the details, but isn’t able to recall many things because it has been very long.Aaftab’s lawyer, Avinash, said that the police sought extended custody saying the Investigating Officer has received a sketch of a pond from Aaftab where they want to take him for further probe. “Aaftab told the court he is cooperating with the police, and the police are also treating him well. He said he is not misleading them or lying to them. The police also didn’t contest his claim in court,” he added. Aaftab will be taken to two ponds for the search of the body parts, one in Mehrauli forest and the other in Maidangarhi — both in south Delhi.During interrogation, Aaftab said he had thrown the saw and blade he used to chop off Shraddha’s body in the bushes of DLF Phase 3, Gurugram, Delhi Police sources said. A Delhi Police team has checked those bushes twice. He threw the meat cleaver in a dustbin at the 100-foot road in south Delhi’s Mehrauli, sources said.The forensics team today broke the bathroom tiles at Aaftab’s Chhatarpur flat where he murdered Shraddha, and found blood stains. The tiles have been sent to the lab for DNA tests.After the first day of the investigation, last Friday, the Delhi Police collected some evidence from the bushes in Gurugram, which has been sent for investigation to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. On the second day, last Saturday, the Delhi Police had gone to Gurugram with metal detectors but returned empty-handed. They also took Aaftab to the shop from where he had bought the saw blade, which is just 250 meters away from Aaftab’s house.

On Sunday, the police had recovered more human remains from the Mehrauli forest. They have so far sent 18 bones, including the base of a skull, and a decapitated jaw, for forensic examination to match with Shraddha’s father’s DNA samples. The central forensic lab has said the reports would be available in one or two weeks.

The police had last week recovered heavy and sharp cutting tools from Aaftab’s flat, which they suspect might have been used to chop off Shraddha Walkar’s body. They also found a heavy black polythene bag at Aaftab’s Gurugram workplace.

Sources say investigations into the six-month-old murder hinge on forensic reports, call data, and circumstantial evidence as there are no witnesses. Delhi police today told the court that 80 per cent of the investigation has been completed. The next few days are crucial for the investigation, as key evidence in the case is still missing.

Shraddha and Aaftab had moved to Delhi in May and four days later, following an argument over expenses and infidelity, he strangled her to death, later chopping up the body into 35 pieces that he kept in a fridge and disposed of in a jungle over 18 days, police have said. Aaftab’s narco analysis test will not be conducted on Monday, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has said, as he has to take a polygraphic test before that.

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