Additional Sessions Judge Manisha Khurana Kakkar said a prima facie case was made out against the accused for offenses under Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (causing evidence of offense to disappear) of the IPC. Aftab Poonawala pleaded not guilty and demanded a trial.
Poonwala allegedly strangled his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar and cut her body into 35 pieces and kept them in a 300-litre fridge before dumping them at various locations in the city over a period of days.
In January, the Delhi Police filed a 6,629-page charge sheet in the case. The charge was filed 75 days after police launched an investigation in November last year.
Originally from Mumbai, Poonwala and Walkar were in a relationship and moved to Delhi in May 2022. The murder came to light when a friend informed Walkar’s father that he had not heard from her for nearly two months. After being unable to get in touch with his daughter, Walkar’s father informed the Mumbai police last October. A Mumbai police investigation led police to the couple’s rented room in south Delhi’s Chhattarpur Pahadi.
The breakthrough came when 13 decomposed body parts, mostly bone fragments, obtained at Poonawal’s insistence led to a DNA match that confirmed Shraddha Walkar was murdered. Aftab Poonawala was arrested in November last year and is currently lodged in Delhi’s Tihar Jail.
Written by: Vaishali verma