Finally, cops add ‘motive’ to Pallavi Purkayastha murder

Pallavi

Introduces attempt to rape in draft charges submitted to court

Almost five months after Pallavi Purkayastha was murdered at her Wadala flat, the Mumbai Police Crime Branch has introduced the section of attempt to rape to the draft charges against the accused. The accused, 22-year-old Sajjad Ahmad Mughal alias Sajjad Pathan was a security guard at Himalayan Heights, where 25-year Pallavi, a corporate lawyer and daughter of an IAS-officer-couple was found murdered on August 9.

On Thursday, the prosecution submitted the draft charges to the designated Sewree fast-track court. The case has seen several alterations to the charges, beginning from application of a molestation charge that was swiftly dropped, to the latest move of enhancing the charges by adding section 376 of the Indian Penal Code read with section 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment).

"This step was proposed by the prosecution. It is still in draft form. The finality of these sections will be decided only on its acceptance by the court," said Investigating officer Mahesh Tawade.

According to sources, the step was taken after the prosecution felt the case would fall flat in the absence of any motive being attributed. In his three-page confession, Pathan has claimed he was enamoured of Purkayastha's beauty and hoped to have a physical relationship with her.

The 434-page police chargesheet filed on October 30 states that on the night of the murder, Pathan had gone to Purkayastha's sixteenth floor (1601) apartment at Himalayan Heights B Wing in Wadala (East) several times after she complained of power failure. In his confession, Pathan states that on the pretext of fixing the electric connection, he had tampered with the electricity distribution system at her flat.While the chargesheet mentions all these aspects, the police had dropped the sexual assault section from it.

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