Aaftab Amin Poonawala, accused of strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar and chopping her body into pieces, on Saturday virtually appeared before a Delhi court and said he was not aware of the bail petition moved on his behalf.
Poonawala, who appeared through video conference, said though he had signed the vakalatnama, he was not aware a bail petition would be filed by his advocate.
“Let the bail application be kept pending and only after the accused meets his counsel, it be decided whether the bail application is pressed or not,” Additional Sessions Judge Vrinda Kumari said.
Noting that Poonawala’s recently appointed private advocate M S Khan has sought time to meet his client, the court posted the matter for further proceedings on December 22.
Noting that Poonawala had informed the court through an email that the bail application was moved “erroneously,” the judge said the permission provided to Khan for filing the bail application stood rescinded.
“Let me have a word with the accused through video conferencing at 11.30 am,” the judge said.
When Poonawala appeared, the judge asked him whether he wanted to withdraw the plea, following which the accused said, “I would like the counsel to talk to me and then withdraw the bail plea.”
The court also asked the recently appointed Special Public Prosecutor Amit Prasad whether Poonawala would be required to appear before the court on the next date of hearing through video conference. The prosecutor responded in the affirmative.
Poonawala’s bail petition was filed before the court on Thursday.
On December 9, his judicial custody was extended by 14 days.
Poonawala, 28, allegedly sawed Walkar’s body into 35 pieces and kept them 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.
(With PTI inputs)
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