Police set to appeal in Maria's case

Police set to appeal in Maria's case

A sessions court had on July 1 absolved Maria and her boyfriend Emile Jerome of murder and criminal conspiracy charges after holding them guilty of lesser offences.

"We will soon move the High court challenging the lower court's order. The accused had pre-planned the murder. They should be charged with murder and criminal conspiracy," said Additional Police Commissioner (Crime) Deven Bharti.

Jerome was convicted on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 (part I) IPC which attracts life term in jail or imprisonment up to ten years. Both he and Maria were also found guilty of trying to destroy evidence under section 201 IPC which provides for a maximum three years in jail.

Since Maria had already served more than three years in prison, she walked free after the court pronounced the judgement.

According to the prosecution, Jerome had gone to Maria's residence in suburban Malad on May 7, 2008 where he got into a fight with Grover during which the naval officer stabbed the TV executive to death. Susairaj and Jerome later cut Grover's body into pieces and disposed it in Manor forest in Thane.

Both the accused had been charged by the prosecution with murder, criminal conspiracy, common intention and causing disappearance of evidence. Another crime branch official said it was a case of murder and there was a conspiracy behind it.

"Maria had claimed during the probe that Neeraj exploited her because of which the latter was killed. She told her boy friend about Neeraj's presence in her house after which Jerome flown to Mumbai from Kochi within a few hours with an intention to murder the TV executive," said the official.

Moreover, the conduct of the accused should be taken into account. Maria had gone to a police station in suburbs stating Neeraj was missing. If she had not intended to murder him, then why she created a picture that the Neeraj was missing, he said.

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