Mumbai: Parents of TV executive Neeraj Grover, who was murdered by a defence personnel three years ago, today said actress Maria Susairaj was equally guilty of the killing and the trial court should have convicted her for murder and conspiracy rather than giving a lighter sentence.
Grover`s parents, Amarnath (60) and Neelam (54), who were in the city to meet high police officials, told reporters that Maria, who was awarded a light sentence of three years for destroying evidence, should be re-arrested and tried for murder and conspiracy.
As the police is preparing to file an appeal in the Bombay High Court against the sessions court verdict, Grover`s parents met Additional Police Commissioner (Crime) Deven Bharti and urged him to put up a strong review petition so that Maria should be tried for murder and conspiracy.
Neeraj was killed and his body hacked to pieces and dumped in Manor forest in adjoining Thane district on May 7, 2008.
On June 30, Maria was awarded a maximum three years` imprisonment for destroying evidence while her boyfriend and former navy officer Emile Jerome got a 10-year jail term for the brutal killing of Grover.
As Maria had already undergone three years in jail during the trial, she was let off soon after the verdict.
"We have made our own observations after going through the verdict copy in detail. The judge and public prosecutor have ignored various misleading and contradictory statements given by Maria and Jerome. Maria was equally guilty of the crime," Amarnath told reporters.
Neeraj`s mother said they hoped Jerome should not get bail when his appeal against the trial court`s verdict comes up for hearing on August 5 in the high court.
"Maria was the one who had engineered the gruesome killing and she should be re-arrested," she said.
"It was Maria who called my son to her place. My son`s friends Nishant Lal and P W Haresh had given statements to the police corroborating that Maria had called Neeraj to her home," Neeraj`s father claimed displaying a copy of his findings.
"Nishant had also stated Maria was angry with Neeraj. Deepak had stated Maria had asked him if Neeraj was cheating her and avoiding to give her a role in serials. After this Maria went away angrily," Amarnath said.
Maria was also involved in killing Grover, that was how she was injured on her palm and not because she tried to withhold Jerome from hurting the TV executive. But these injuries were ignored by the public prosecutor and the judge, the elderly couple argued.
Jerome had been telephoned by Maria using Neeraj`s phone, Amarnath said, adding that it was here the conspiracy had begun.
"Our observations will surely help the police to prepare a strong case in the high court and secure strong punishment for Maria," Amarnath said.
Grover`s parents are likely to meet Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil tomorrow.