A day after their arrest in connection with the murder of a domestic help, Bahujan Samaj Party MP Dhananjay Singh and his wife Jagriti were remanded in five days’ police custody by a Patiala House Court here.
Jagriti, a senior resident dentist at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, has been arrested for the murder of her 35-year-old domestic help Rakhi and an attempt to murder another minor help besides wrongfully confining both. Mr. Singh has been booked for helping his wife in destroying evidence and under Juvenile Justice Act for employing a minor.
The couple was represented by two different counsels on Monday.
The court was told by the prosecution that three domestic helps (the third being another 35-year-old woman Meena) were beaten up mercilessly using blunt objects and even burnt with a hot iron by Jagriti. The prosecution counsel also informed the court that Mr. Singh was all along in the know of it. The court later observed that the allegations were serious in nature and even asked the minor victim to show his injuries.
The prosecution had sought police custody for seven days for both for recovering case property including an iron press that was purportedly used to torture the domestic helps at the MP’s South Avenue flat and video footage from the cameras installed there.
Another ground cited by the prosecution for seeking police custody was ascertaining the exact whereabouts of the placement agencies through which the domestic helps had been hired. Additional public prosecutor Mukul Kumar told the court that the investigating agency might have to take the accused to West Bengal from where Rakhi was hired as the address given to them was found to be fake.
Mr. Kumar added that after reaching Delhi, the MP first removed the cameras that were installed and then went to the police to inform about Rakhi’s death. Mr. Singh’s counsel, senior advocate Hariharan, contested the claim by saying that his client was the one who submitted a few recordings during his visit to the police station. To this the prosecution argued that he had only submitted a couple of footages out of many and even those were tampered with.
The counsel for Mr. Singh – who has also been charged with abetting his wife’s crime – tried to distance his client from the activities of Jagriti and said he had filed for a divorce from his wife this May and one of the grounds for seeking divorce was her behaviour with the domestic helps.