Saritha S. Nair, solar-scam accused, told the District and Sessions Court Judge, Ashok Menon, on Monday that from personal experience, she strongly believed that the co-accused, Biju Radhakrishnan, had killed his wife, Reshmi.
Testifying as prosecution witness number 31 during chief examination by Special Public Prosecutor G. Mohanraj in the Reshmi murder case in which Biju stands trial for killing Reshmi, Saritha said she had known Reshmi quite well and was aware that she had often been subjected to domestic violence by Biju.
During cross-examination by defence counsel B.N. Haskar, Saritha said she herself had been subjected to torture and blackmail by Biju when he developed relationships with other women.
On one occasion when he lost his temper, Biju had jammed her finger in the door hinge and threatened her saying that he had already killed one woman and killing another would not take even two minutes. She showed her scarred finger to the judge.
When the chief examination began, Mr. Mohanraj told Saritha to testify freely on all what she knew about Reshmi’s murder as she would be given protection under Section 132 of the Indian Evidence Act, which ensures that no witness will be incriminated for the testimonies made before a court.
While testifying, she often broke down and wiped tears while speaking of the alleged cruelties to which Biju had subjected her. She said that her relationship with her former husband was not cordial but had it not been for the manipulations of Biju, she would have compromised with her husband instead of going for a divorce.
Saritha said that a lot of money had been obtained through the solar scam. But all that was amassed by Biju. The fact was that nothing went to both our houses; instead Biju had shelled it out to women with whom he had illicit relationships.
The witness said that Biju had a weakness for women in the film and TV serial fields.
She alleged that Biju had shared a portion of the money amassed through the scam to the TV serial actor Shalu Menon (Shalu is a witness in the case and will testify before the court on Thursday). She said it was after Biju developed a relationship with Shalu that he began to subject her to cruelty.
On one occasion, Biju had come to her house at Thiruvananthauram at night with two anti-social elements and threatened her. She had lodged a complaint in this connection with the Karamana police.
Fearing that she would be attacked by hirelings engaged by Biju, she stopped using her car and instead travelled in hired vehicles.
She told the court that she had played a lead role in the solar scam and in that capacity had a responsibility towards those who had been cheated. But it was Biju who monetarily gained from the scam. She told the court that she was experiencing true peace of mind in prison.
The prosecution charge is that Reshmi was murdered by Biju on the night of February 3, 2006, to marry and live with Saritha.
Saritha’s former husband, Rajendran Nair, who testified as a prosecution witness, told the judge during chief examination that Reshmi had on one occasion telephoned him and requested him to patch up with Saritha because she feared that Biju would kill her to start living with Saritha.