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Shraddananda to move President

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Shraddananada
Shraddananada

K.V. Subramanya

The Supreme Court has said he should spend the rest of his life in jail

Godman convicted for murdering wife

Shraddananda has already spent

14 years in jail

BANGALORE: Self-styled godman Swami Shraddananada, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his wife Begum Shakereh Namazi Khaleeli, is planning to approach the President seeking remission of sentence in view of the Supreme Court on Monday delivering a judgment that he should spend the rest of his life in jail.

Bangalore-based senior lawyer C.H. Hanumantharya told The Hindu on Thursday that Shraddananda had “expressed his desire” to petition President Prathiba Patil seeking remission of sentence.

Mr. Hanumantharaya had appeared for Shraddananada before the trail court that convicted and awarded him death sentence and also before the Karnataka High Court, which had confirmed the sentence.

Later, Shraddananada hired a Delhi-based lawyer and filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

According to Mr. Hanumantharaya, while conferring life sentence on Shraddananada, the Supreme Court had “specifically and decisively” stated that he should spend the rest of his life in prison. If the apex court had granted remission, Shraddananda could have got bail or even walked out free as he had already spent 14 years in jail.

On other legal recourse available to Shraddananada to get the punishment reduced, Mr. Hanumantharaya said the convict could file a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of its judgment.

According to the charge sheet filed by the police in the jurisdictional court in Bangalore,

Shraddananda had drugged Shakereh, placed her body in a coffin and buried it in a corner of the compound of her palatial bungalow on Richmond Road on April 28, 1991.

After divorcing her husband, Akbar Khaleeli, a former diplomat, in 1985, Shakereh married Shraddananda, a native of Madhya Pradesh, in 1986. She was the granddaughter of the former Dewan of Mysore, Sir Mirza Ismail.

When Shakereh’s daughters from her earlier marriage questioned Shraddananda about their mother, he told them that she had gone abroad.

One of her daughters lodged a complaint with the police about her “missing” mother. In 1994, a constable, Mahadeva, took out a male servant of Shraddananda for a drink and he spilled the beans. Shakereh’s body that was reduced to a skeleton was exhumed and subsequently, the police arrested Shraddananda.

The State argued that Shraddananda had murdered Shakereh to usurp her properties.

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