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Maid murder: Court queries police about cover to key witnesses

PTI | Last Updated: Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 20:51

New Delhi: A court here on Saturday asked Delhi Police to apprise it about whether they have provided protection to the key witnesses in the murder case in which BSP MP Dhananjay Singh and his wife Jagriti Singh have been charge-sheeted.

The court asked police to file a written submission in this regard on March 21. It was hearing a bail petition filed by Dhananjay, the sitting MP from Jaunpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

Dhananjay had approached the court after his bail plea was dismissed on February 22 by Additional Sessions Judge Lokesh Kumar Sharma on the grounds that, being an influential person, he could intimidate the witnesses who are yet to be examined.

In his bail petition, Dhananjay had said that since the two key prosecution witnesses in the case had already been provided protection by police, there was no likelihood of him trying to intimidate them.

Security cover had been extended to the key witnesses as per an order passed by a magisterial court in November, 2013.

During the hearing today, the court asked police to submit a status report on whether the witnesses had been given protection as per the order passed by the magisterial court.
The magisterial court, while dismissing the bail plea of Dhananjay on November 20 last year, had directed police to provide protection to the principal witnesses till the time their statements were recorded.

Dhananjay was charge-sheeted for various offences under IPC, including for alleged destruction of evidence and abetment of the offences of murder and attempt to murder.

Jagriti has been charge-sheeted for offences under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 344 (wrongfully confining for 10 or more days), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC.

The couple were arrested on November 5 of last year in connection with the death of their 35-year-old maid Rakhi Bhadra, a resident of West Bengal.

Dhananjay and Jagriti, a dental surgeon at a government hospital here, are lodged in jail in judicial custody.

The police, in its charge sheet, had alleged that Jagriti used to "mercilessly beat" her three domestic helps and had "compelled" them to work by holding them captive.

Rakhi`s body, with injury marks on her legs, chest and arms, was recovered from Dhananjay`s South Avenue residence on the evening of November 4, 2013.

Earlier, police had charge-sheeted Dhananjay in a separate case for allegedly repeatedly raping a 42-year-old railway employee for nearly four years.

First Published: Saturday, March 1, 2014 - 20:51
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