Mehrauli murder: Delhi HC grants Poonawala daytime relief from solitary confinement

New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) The Delhi High Court on Friday directed Tihar Jail authorities that Aaftab Amin Poonawala, accused of strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar to death and then chopping her body into several pieces, be let out of his solitary confinement for eight hours in the day as per applicable rules.

Inmates in solitary confinement are typically separated from the general prison population and have limited access to recreational activities, educational opportunities, and social interactions.

Poonawala had filed a habeas corpus plea contending that under the garb of security threat, the jail authorities are keeping him in solitary confinement for 22 hours a day.

He argued that even though other inmates are let out for eight hours, he is let out only for two hours — one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.

A division bench of Justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Girish Kathpalia disposed of Poonawala’s plea after granting his request.

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The bench said: “Considering the threat perception, Poonawala be lodged back in solitary confinement at night.”

Reportedly, the accused has been in solitary confinement since March of last year.

Last year, Additional Sessions Judge Manisha Khurana Kakkar of Saket Court had framed charges against Poonawala under Sections 302 (Murder) and 201 (Disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Poonawala.

“Prima facie case of Section 302 is made out and charges will be framed,” Additional Sessions Judge Khurana had said.

The judge had added that to screen himself from punishment, Poonawala cut Walkar’s body and threw it at various places therefore committing offence under Section 201 of IPC.

Poonawala pleaded not guilty of Walker’s murder and the matter was set for trial.

The Delhi Police had earlier told the court that incriminating circumstances are clearly revealed through reliable and clinching evidence and they form a chain of events.

A charge sheet running over 6,000 pages was filed in the case.

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