Mumbai: The Supreme Court granted bail to artist Chintan Upadhyay who was arrested in 2015 for allegedly killing his estranged wife Hema, also an artist, and her lawyer Haresh Bhambani.
A division bench of justices L. Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai granted bail to Upadhyay on Friday.
Upadhyay had filed an appeal in the apex court after the Bombay High Court rejected his interim bail.
His counsel Raja Thakare said that the bail amount is to be decided by the trial court.
Upadhyay had sought bail citing the Covid-19 pandemic and that his parents, both senior citizens, are dependent on him physically, mentally, psychologically, socially and even financially. Besides, he has said that he has not met them since his incarceration in 2015.
Upadhyay also contended that the trial against him has still not concluded despite the Supreme Court had directed the trial to be completed in a time bound manner.
The prosecution had opposed his bail stating that jails are taking appropriate care of him during the pandemic. Also, the trial court has examined about 26 witnesses. Further, as far as possible, the trial is being conducted at least twice a week. The court is taking hard efforts to complete the trial, prosecution had contended.
According to the prosecution, Hema Upadhyay and Bhambani were allegedly smothered to death by Vidhyadhar Rajbhar on December 11, 2015, with the help of other accused persons. He had killed the duo allegedly at Chintan Upadhyay’s behest.
The next day, a garbage collector discovered their bodies in a nullah in Kandivali.
Upadhyay was arrested on December 22, 2015, for the murders. Other accused to be arrested are Shiv Kumar Rajbhar, Pradip Kumar Rajbhar, Vijay Kumar Rajbhar and Azad Rajbhar.
One of the accused, Vidhyadhar, is still untraceable.
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