Aaftab’s counsel gets ‘last chance’ to reply to charges

Last opportunity given on the ground that he is engaged recently.

NEW DELHI: A court on Saturday provided the last opportunity for Aaftab Amin Poonawala’s advocate to respond to the Delhi Police’s arguments on charges against him. Poonawala is accused of strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar and chopping her body into pieces. Additional Sessions Judge Manisha Khurana Kakkar noted that Poonawala had engaged a new private advocate in place of the legal aid counsel provided by the court and that the new advocate sought time to respond to the prosecution’s arguments on charges. “...Counsel... seeks adjournment to address arguments on charges.

Last opportunity given on the ground that he is engaged recently. It is made clear that no further opportunity will be provided,” the judge said.

The matter has been posted on March 31 for further proceedings. Meanwhile, the court also allowed the application of the victim’s father and complainant Vikas Walkar to attend the court proceedings through video conferencing. There are “incriminating circumstances revealed through reliable and clinching evidence which form a chain of events”, Delhi Police had told the court on March 20 as it completed its arguments on the framing of charges.

Poonawala had been booked for offences under Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of the Indian Penal Code. According to the Delhi Police chargesheet, Poonawala allegedly strangled his live-in partner Walkar on May 18 last year and sawed her body into several pieces which he kept in a fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi’s Mehrauli.

He then allegedly scattered the remains across Delhi over a period of several days, some of which have since been recovered. The Delhi Police filed a 6,629- page charge sheet in the case on January 24.

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