Mumbai: Though Pradeep Rajbhar, 22, one of the accused in the December 2015 Hema Upadhyay-Haresh Bhambhani double murder case had retracted his statement given to a magistrate in the last hearing, it was opened in the Dindoshi Sessions Court on Monday. Hema Upadhyay alleged that her estranged husband Chintan Updhayay had offered Rs 20 lakh to absconding accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar to get rid of her.
Pradeep Rajbhar (22), who claimed to have been present in the conspiracy meeting in Chembur on December 8, 2015, revealed that he had heard Chintan tell Vidyadhar: "Agar tum Hema ka kaam kar doge to tumhe bees lakh de dunga." The accused said that when he later asked Vidyadhar what Chintan had meant, the latter told him he meant Hema's murder.
While recording the statement on March 8, Pradeep had said he wanted to make the confession as he was "repenting" for his act.
In June, Pradeep filed an application before court seeking to retract his statement on the grounds that it was false and he was coerced by cops to make it. While a reply to the plea was to be filed on Monday , public prosecutor Datta Mudiganti told the court it was not clear if police or the crime branch, which took over investigations later, would file it.
Pradeep, who was "badly in need of money" at the time of the incident, said on December 8, 2015 that he had met Chintan in the city along with other accused Vidhyadhar and Vijay Rajbhar. In that meeting, he alleged, Chintan promised to pay him big and that he had to call Hema.
Pradeep questioned Chintan why he had to do so. "Chintan told me Hema filed a false complaint against me in court and due to that I am very upset," he said. Pradeep further said that Chintan told him to pretend to be Mahendra Gupta, a cook working in Chintan's Jaipur bungalow. He further asked him to tell Hema he had three video clips of Chintan sleeping with a girl.