Hema Upadhyay-Harish Bhambani murder case: No bail for Chintan

A Dindoshi sessions court, earlier this month, rejected the temporary bail plea of artist Chintan Upadhyay, who is accused of conspiracy of the murder of his estranged wife Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambani in December 2015.

The court said it understands the pain of being kept in jail during the pandemic, but it’s beyond its limitation. Along with Chintan, the temporary bail application of his co-accused Pradeep Rajbhar was also rejected.

In a common order, the court said, “…though this court may understand the feelings of applicants/accused and even pain that they are kept in jail under this fearful situation of Covid-19, in view of the proceedings of the trial and for want of recommendation to release accused in a murder case on interim bail... it is beyond the limitation of the court.”

Additional sessions judge DD Khoche agreed with the submission of special public prosecutor Vaibhav Bagade that the virus could not enter the prisons and affect prisoners. “The jail authorities are taking care at their level best and therefore it is their success that the Covid-19 pandemic could not spread effectively here,” Judge Khoche said. The court added that as compared to daily working people, who are exposed to an outside social atmosphere, applicants are in a secure situation in jail.

Chintan had claimed interim bail on grounds of the third Covid-19 wave and told the court that his parents are aged and have not been able to meet him all these years that he has been in custody. He said they are dependent on him and he wanted to take care of them during such trying times. Being present before court personally, Chintan had also pointed to the delay in trial.

The court said his submission is correct, a fact and cannot be denied, but added that it’s taking hard efforts to complete the trial and that 26 witnesses have been examined.

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