Counsel of Aaftab Amin Poonawala, who is accused of strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar to death, chopping her body into several pieces, storing them in a fridge before disposing of them in a forest over three months, on Friday complained in court that his client was “manhandled” during his production in court.
As Additional Sessions Judge Manisha Khurana Kakkar heard the arguments on charges against the accused, she also directed the authorities concerned to ensure the safety of Poonawala.
“Lock-up in charge, Saket Court, as well as jail superintendent, are directed to ensure that the accused is produced safely during court productions,” she said.
The Delhi Police had earlier told the court that incriminating circumstances are clearly revealed through reliable and clinching evidence and they form a chain of events.
Poonawala has been booked for the offences under the Indian Penal Code Sections 302 and 201 for murder and causing disappearance of evidence of offence, respectively.
The accused’s counsel, on Friday, contended that Section 201 can be invoked only against the person who screens the offender and not against the person accused of the main offence.
Appearing for Police, Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad argued that he would place on record judgements against the argument.
During the hearing, victim’s father Vikas Walkar had prayed the court for supply of audio-video evidence attached with the charge sheet.
The SPP had opposed the request, saying that dissemination of such material to media would cause prejudice to the accused.
If it is supplied, then the condition of no dissemination to anyone should be imposed, he said.
The court has listed the matter for further proceedings on April 3.
SPP Prasad had earlier submitted that the accused is a trained chef from Taj Hotel and is aware of preserving flesh.
Poonawala had also ordered dry ice, agarbatti etc. after killing Shraddha Walker, the police had said.
It was added by the police that after committing the crime, he got into a new relationship and gave a ring to his new girlfriend.
On February 21, a city court 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 court had on February 7 taken cognisance of the charge sheet filed by the Delhi Police against Poonawala which ran over 6,000 pages.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)