Mahim murder case: Cops may book Bennett Rebello under POCSO

Updated: 17 December, 2019 07:30 IST | Faizan Khan | Mumbai

The Vakola musician's adopted daughter's birth certificate recently procured from her brother showed her age as 17; sent to children remand home

Bennett Rebello
Bennett Rebello

The Crime Branch may soon register a case of sexual abuse under the protection of children from sexual offences act (POCSO) against Vakola musician Bennett Rebello who was allegedly killed by his adopted daughter. The Crime Branch on Monday told the court that it had earlier relied on a plain adoption paper for the birth date of Rebello's adopted daughter in which her date of birth is registered as July 21, 2001. However, the Aadhaar card and birth certificate from Cama hospital produced by her elder brother on Saturday evening mentioned her date of birth as July 21, 2002, which makes her a minor.

The crime branch is verifying both the dates. "We have received two sets of documents and are verifying both," said Santosh Rastogi (joint commissioner, crime branch). The girl was, therefore, sent to a children's remand home on Monday. "The adopted daughter was allegedly sexually abused by the deceased," a senior police officer told mid-day.

On Monday, the crime branch also told the Esplanade court that it had verified the age of the third accused in the case — Ali Mia Chaus as 19, arrested in the Vakola musician's case. Chaus was produced before the court and his police custody was extended up to December 20. Arguing for the accused, defence lawyer Mintoo Gond said, "My client was arrested on the basis of an extra-judicial confession by one of the accused. My client has not played any role in the murder and sufficient time has already been given to crime branch to investigate his role."

The public prosecutor, however, argued that given the serious nature of the crime, further custody was required. "Photos of the chopped body of Rebello were also found in his cell phone," he said even as the defence lawyer insisted that the phone had already been seized by the crime branch and "there was no sufficient ground for further custody." Chaus was arrested on December 14 for allegedly helping both the minor accused in disposing off the chopped body parts of Rebello.

Dec 20
Day up to which custody of third accused has been extended

Dec 14
Day he was arrested

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First Published: 17 December, 2019 07:21 IST

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