‘Statement of witness does not have his signature’

A lapse by Pune Police in the sensational rape and murder of a software engineer in 2009 was highlighted in court when it was revealed that the statement of a key accused didn't bear his signature.

Chandansingh Thakur, a close friend of Vishwas Kadam, one of the four accused, testified before district judge Anant Badar on Wednesday.

Defence lawyers claimed that absence of his signature on the statement indicated the investigators produced a false statement in court.

Thakur, a resident of Triveninagar in Nigdi, however, said although it did not bear his signature, the statement was true.

Kadam had reportedly handed over a gold bangle taken from the victim to Thakur and told him to keep it safe.

During trial, Thakur said he was in contact with accused Kadam after the incident and also during his stay in Uttarakhand when Kadam was on the run.

During cross-examination Thakur told the court that he was scared when Kadam told him about the November 9, 2009 incident over mobile phone that he and his friends kidnapped, raped and killed a woman.

Thakur said he had known Kadam since 2004 as the two were neighbours.

He said he had helped Kadam get a job when he shifted to Dighi and stated working as a cab driver with one Jayram Pandit. "In the second week of October 2009, Kadam visited my house and gave me a gold bangle which had five ghungroos. He asked me to keep it with me until he saves enough to buy a similar bangle to complete the pair. He left in a hurry," said Thakur.

"On December 12, 2009 police visited my home along with Kadam and took away the bangle."

During cross-examination, defence lawyers Nivedita Kale and B A Alurgave showed Thakur a copy of the statement and asked him if it had his signature.

... contd.

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