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The Bombay High Court Tuesday declined the bail plea of former naval officer Emile Jerome Mathew, convicted in the murder of television executive Neeraj Grover, citing grounds of ‘sufficient circumstantial evidence’. 

A division bench comprising Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice M.L. Tahaliyani said that there was sufficient evidence in the case and the best it could do was to expedite the hearing in the case.

This includes the appeal filed by Jerome against his conviction and the Maharashtra government’s appeal seeking enhancement of the sentence of ten years awarded to him.

Earlier this year in June, a lower court had acquitted Jerome and his fiancee Maria Susairaj of charges of murdering Grover after observing that it was not a premeditated murder.

While Jerome was convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced to 10 years rigorous imprisonment, Maria was sentenced to three years, finding her guilty of destroying evidence in the May 2008 murder incident.

A day later, Maria was set free since she had already spent more time in jail as an undertrial, while Jerome challenged his conviction in the high court. Even Susairaj challenged her conviction and both pleas were admitted by the high court. The matter will now come up for further hearing in February.

In a gruesome crime of passion, Grover, a producer working with a private television company, was killed by Mathew early morning of May 7, 2008, after he found him naked in Susairaj’s apartment in Dheeraj Solitaire building in the northwest suburb of Malad.

 


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