Just days after Chintan Upadhyay’s lawyers filed an application alleging torture, his defence yesterday cited the artist’s back problems and told the court that making him sleep on the ground was tantamount to third-degree torture
Yesterday, as the Metropolitan Magistrate Court extended the police custody of artist Chintan Upadhyay in connection with the murder of his wife Hema and her lawyer, the defence complained that Chintan was being subjected to third-degree torture as he was forced to sleep on the floor. While Chintan’s custody was extended to January 4, his application for home food and medical aid for backache was rejected by the court.
Chintan Upadhyay being taken to court by the police yesterday, where his custody was extended to January 4. Pic/Sameer Markande
In addition, the prosecution also filed an application to conduct a narco analysis test on Chintan. A hearing will be held to decide this matter on Monday, which is when the final extension of the artist’s police custody will expire.
The prosecution argued that longer custody was required for the artist as they were investigating several leads. First, the prosecution alleged that Chintan had met the other accused just two days before the double murder took place. Second, investigators have recovered the sedative used to smother Hema and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani on December 11. The chemical had been bought from a Bangalore man, and the cops are now trying to ascertain whether Chintan has any connection with the man.
In addition, the police also seized a few sketches, a diary, an iPad, a portable hard disk, pen drive and memory card during a search of Chintan’s Delhi residence. Sources said the sketches and the diary have raised the suspicions of the cops.
They also want to verify certain information they received from Chintan about the absconding accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar aka Gotu, for which an investigation team had been sent outside Maharashtra. Third, investigations have revealed that Chintan and Hema had disputes over a flat in Juhu, as well as other personal issues. Cops want to probe whether this was the motive behind the crime.
However, defence lawyer Niteen Pradhan opposed the demand for longer police custody, and told the court, “The case diary should have been presented in court if more police custody is required.”
Just days after his lawyers had filed an application alleging he was being subjected to third degree by the Kandivli police, the Magistrate asked Chintan, “Kya apko koi shikayat hai? (Do you have any complaint?)” Chintan replied in the negative.
However, his lawyer Pradhan went on to tell the court that Chintan had backache issues, after which the court also heard the artist talk about the health complaint.
The lawyer said, “I am not alleging that any assault took place against Chintan. My complaint is that Chintan has been made to sleep on the floor on cardboard. Subjecting the accused to any ill treatment, mental or physical, is third-degree torture.”