New Delhi: BSP MP Dhananjay Singh and his wife Jagriti, arrested in connection with the murder of their maid, were today remanded to two-day police custody by a Delhi court after police told a court here that they have to confront them with recordings of CCTV footage regarding the identity of some unidentified persons seen in it.
Dhananjay, BSP MP from Jaunpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh, and Jagriti, a dental surgeon at the R M L Hospital here, were produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Jasjeet Kaur after expiry of their judicial custody and the Delhi Police sought four days of police custody for interrogating them regarding the unidentified persons.
Dhananjay and Jagriti were arrested on November 5 in connection with the death of their 35-year-old maid Rakhi Bhadra, a resident of West Bengal.
Additional Public Prosecutor Mukul Kumar told the court that police custody is required to confront the two accused with the Digital Video Recordings (DVRs) of CCTV footage in order to ascertain the identity of certain unidentified persons figuring in it.
The prosecutor said the recordings pertains to 20 CCTV cameras installed at 175, South Avenue residence, where the incident had taken place, and runs into about 2,000 hours. The advocates, appearing for Dhananjay and Jagriti, opposed the police's plea saying they have already interrogated both the accused for five days in their custody and further custodial interrogation is not required.
Senior advocate Hariharan, who appeared for Dhananjay, argued his client was not residing at 175, South Avenue for the last two years and he was not even in Delhi between November 1 to November 4 when the alleged incident took place.
The court, however, remanded both the accused to police custody till November 18 saying the police need to ascertain the identity of these unidentified persons figuring in the CCTV footage.
"I have considered the submissions of Additional Public Prosecutor and counsel for the accused persons. Allegations against the accused persons are serious in nature. From the material on record, it is evident that opportunity has not been given to the investigating agency to confront the two accused persons with the DVRs handed over to the investigating officer by accused Dhananjay Singh in order to facilitate custodial interrogation of accused persons for ascertaining the identity of unidentified persons...
"Accused persons are remanded to police custody for two days," the magistrate said.
During the hearing, the police told the court that they have received the forensic report of the DVRs on November 14 and they need to confront both the accused with it as they had given some contradictory statements earlier.
The prosecutor said although it cannot be said at this stage whether these unidentified persons were involved in the commission of the crime but they wanted to confront the accused to ascertain their identities.
He said the video recordings of 20 CCTV cameras between November 1 and November 4 runs into around 2,000 hours and they need at least four days to confront the accused with it.
He said the DVRs were earlier sent to FSL for expert opinion and they have received it only on November 14 so they need police custody of both the accused.
Hariharan opposed the police's plea saying there is nothing to confront the accused persons as the alleged unidentified persons can be seen in the CCTV footage and police may ask their witnesses to identify them.
He said Dhananjay cannot identify those persons as he was not in Delhi and was also not residing at 175, South Avenue residence.
Advocate Pramod Dubey, who appeared for Jagriti, too opposed the police's plea saying there is nothing to identify and the police custody should not be given as it may be misused to extort confession of the accused.
The court, which was scheduled to hear the bail plea of Dhananjay, listed it for hearing on November 18.
Earlier, Jagriti's counsel had told the court that his client was in "acute mental depression" and the investigating officer should have said this to the court. He had referred to media reports and claimed that Jagriti was suffering from "bouts of uncontrolled behaviour".
The court, however, had told him to produce relevant medical documents in this regard before it.
The court had earlier disposed off Dhananjay's plea for preserving the call details records of two mobile phone numbers used by the MP and also the mirror image of the DVRs. It had directed the FSL, Rohini, to preserve the call detail records and DVRs.
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