Shraddha murder case: Aftab Amin Poonawala, accused of murdering his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar, underwent Polygraph test on Tuesday evening after a city court gave permission to Delhi Police
Also, in the latest development in the ongoing investigation, police found more evidence, including blood stains in the flat where both lived in Delhi.
Poonawala’s police remand extended by four days
Earlier in the day, Poonawala told a Delhi court, which extended his police remand by four days, that he acted in the "heat of the moment" and that it was not "deliberate", according to Abinash Kumar, the lawyer representing the accused.
Aftab has never confessed to killing her in court of law: Lawyer
Poonawala's lawyer has said he has never confessed to killing his live-in partner. Defence counsel Abinash Kumar, who is representing Aftab Poonawala in court, said he met him for a short duration of time on Tuesday during which he appeared 'confident and relaxed'. Kumar later said after speaking to Poonawala that he "never confessed in the court that he killed Walkar".
15-20 questions were asked during test
Sources said a questionnaire of 15-20 questions were asked so that the sequence of events in the gruesome killing can be ascertained. After the polygraph test, police are likely to go for the narco analysis which was permitted by the court last week.
Sources said that during the police questioning, the accused told investigators that he dumped the weapon and tools, used to chop Walkar's body into 35 pieces, at the DLF Phase III forest area in Gurgaon after May.
On Tuesday evening, experts began the polygraph test on the accused. A senior FSL official said that the process of the polygraph test is time taking. It may go on for a day or even two, depending upon how it proceeds.
"We have initiated the process for conducting the polygraph test. A questionnaire is also set and will be asked. The duration of the test also depends on how many breaks are taken during the procedure," he added.
At the end of his five-day police custody, Poonawala was produced before Metropolitan Magistrate Aviral Shukla, who extended his custody by four more days.
Police sought extension of his custody on the grounds that more body parts and weapons can be recovered based on disclosures made by him.
It also informed the court that a rough site plan has been found at the house of the accused which may assist in the search and custodial interrogation, adding the accused will also be required to connect the chain of events in the crime.
“Do you know what you have done?" the judge asked Poonawala, said his legal aid counsel Abinash Kumar, narrating the proceedings. "And he said everything happened in the heat of the moment, and it was not deliberate,” the defence counsel told PTI.
Later the counsel said that he spoke to Poonawala for "five-seven minutes today".
"When I spoke to him in the morning, he appeared relaxed and was very confident. He did not show any signs of aggressiveness," he said.
The lawyer said when he asked Poonawala if he is able to follow the legal proceedings in the case and if he was satisfied with the defence, he replied in the affirmative. "He has never confessed in the court of law that he killed Walkar," Kumar told PTI.
According to police sources, important clues have been found from the bathroom tiles of Poonawala's flat here after a forensic team broke the bathroom tiles and found blood stains on them.
The recovered tiles have been sent for DNA examination to ascertain whether those blood stains are of Walkar and the report is expected within two weeks.
Delhi Police Commissioner reviews progress of investigation
Delhi Police Commissioner Sanjay Arora visited the DCP(South) office in Hauz Khas to review the progress of the investigation in the case.
"We will try to conduct the narco and polygraph tests within four days. Multiple agencies have been working on the case and we will file a collective report in the court. The charge sheet will be filed on the basis of forensic evidence. We have to join the dots on the evidence collected so far. We cannot conclude the investigation based on the confession by the accused," said a senior police officer, after the meeting with Arora.
Key evidences are still missing
Police not found Walkar's severed head and other body parts and are hoping to find clues to recover key evidence, including the murder weapon, that could firm up their case.
Twenty-eight-year-old Poonawala allegedly strangled his live-in partner Walkar and sawed her body into 35 pieces which he kept in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in South Delhi’s Mehrauli before dumping them across the city over several days past midnight. The murder occurred in May.
PIL dismissed by Delhi High Court
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed with costs a PIL that sought directions to transfer the Walkar murder investigation from Delhi Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), terming it a 'publicity interest litigation'.
(With PTI input)
Also Read: Shraddha murder: Aftab has never confessed to killing her in court of law, says his lawyer