A Delhi court Monday sent Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) parliamentarian Dhananjay Singh and his wife, arrested for allegedly torturing their maid to death, to four days’ judicial custody.
Dhananjay Singh, who represents Jaunpur Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested and booked for destruction of evidence and violating the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act.
His wife Jagriti, a dentist at a government hospital, has been booked for murder, attempt to murder and for violating the Juvenile Justice Act.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha sent the couple to four days’ judicial custody till Nov 15, after Delhi Police said they are waiting for some reports and will confront the accused with them later.
Jagriti allegedly beat and tortured her maid Rakhi, 35, and another help, Rampal, 17, for days.
Dhananjay and Jagriti were produced before the court on expiry of their five days’ police custody.
Additional Public Prosecutor Mukul Kumar told the court that the forensic experts require some time to retrieve the data of Digital Video Recorders (DVRs), which were provided by Dhananjay to the police, and they might take custody of the accused later to confront them with the reports and opinions.
He said DVRs have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Rohini here for examination as well as for expert opinion. The prosecutor told the court that at this stage, the accused need to be sent to judicial custody as some more evidence will be collected during this period.
Jagriti’s counsel told the magistrate that his client is in acute mental depression, and the investigating officer should have said this to the court.
The counsel also referred to media reports and claimed that his client suffered from bouts of uncontrollable behaviour.
However, the prosecutor told the court that, as of now, Jagriti is medically fit and her counsel should not go with media reports. The court told Jagriti’s counsel to produce relevant medical documents in this regard.
The police had said that besides the maid, who is now dead, two more domestic helps, including Rampal, were employed at the MP’s residence and were also beaten up mercilessly by Jagriti, 29, and her husband Dhananjay, 38.
They said the accused used wooden sticks, iron rods, iron press and even metallic, artificial deer horns to beat the maids. Regarding Dhananjay, the police said that after the incident, he tried to destroy the video recording of 20 CCTV cameras installed in his house.
Dhananjay has already filed for divorce from Jagriti, and the matter is pending before a court. Jagriti is the second wife of Dhananjay, whose first wife committed suicide in 2007, police said.
Jagriti administered first aid to Rakhi and Rampal at home itself, instead of taking them to hospital.
Rakhi, a native of West Bengal, was employed nine months ago through a placement agency, while Rampal came from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi city.