The Sessions Court yesterday acquitted 23-year-old Ramakant Sontake, a student at Industrial Technical Institute (ITI), on charges of murdering his girlfriend Pooja Gaikwad in 2013.
The prosecution claimed that a few days before Sontake murdered Gaikwad, she had insulted Sontake in public. To avenge his insult, Sontake called Gaikwad at Karve Marg in Kanjurmarg on July 5, 2013, and stabbed her to death with a knife. Sontake and Pooja Gaikwad (22) were in relationship even after the latter’s marriage.
After stabbing Gaikwad, Sontake informed his friends that she met with an accident and asked them to rush her to Rajawadi Hospital. He kept following up with his friends about her condition. Later that night, he went to one of his friend’s residence and confessed to him about his crime, following which the friend informed the police.
A case under Section 302 (murder) was registered and Ramakant was arrested. Cops later recovered the murder weapon from the spot.
Speaking to mid-day, defence lawyer Amrish Salunke said, “The prosecution presented a CCTV footage showing how Ramakant bought the knife on the same day and checked its sharpness. But the footage wasn’t authenticated in the court. Moreover, his friend’s testimony, before whom he had confessed to the crime, was discarded. It was cast aside because cross-examination revealed that the police extracted it illegally after they detained him for three days, during which he was thrashed. Also, his statement was changed about five to six times.”