New Delhi: Setting the stage for trial, a court here Tuesday framed charges of murder and disappearance of evidence against Aaftab Amin Poonawala, who is accused of strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar to death and chopping her body into pieces.
Additional Sessions Judge Manisha Khurana Kakkar said the arguments were heard at length and sufficient materials were placed on record by the prosecution.
Prima facie, a case under sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code was made out against the accused, the judge said.
“In the light of the aforesaid facts, sufficient material has been placed on record by the prosecution which warrants trial of the accused for both the offences,” she said.
The judge then read the charges to Poonawala, saying that May 18 last year he committed the murder of Shraddha Walkar and thereafter dismembered the body and disposed of the parts at various places between May 18 and 22.
On the court’s query whether he understood the charges, Poonawala replied in affirmative. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and claimed a trial.
The matter has been posted for further proceedings June 1.
The Delhi Police March 20 told the court while completing its arguments on the charges that “incriminating circumstances revealed through reliable and clinching evidence which form a chain of events”.
Earlier February 21, a magisterial court after taking cognisance of the charge sheet, had committed the case to sessions court. The Delhi Police filed the 6,629-page charge sheet in the case January 24.
Poonawala allegedly strangled Walkar May 18 last year, sawed her body into pieces and kept them in a fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in South Delhi’s Mehrauli. He later scattered the pieces at different places in the national capital to avoid getting caught.