Wife, son get life term for NRI businessman’s murder

The lawyer of accused says allegation made by the prosecution is false, to approach High Court against the district court’s order 

Published: 09th June 2021 04:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th June 2021 04:29 AM   |  A+A-

Rajeshwari Shetty, wife of Bhaskar Shetty (right), leaves the courthouse after she was sentenced for her husband’s murder, in Udupi on Tuesday | Express

By Express News Service

UDUPI: Five years after the sensational murder of NRI businessman Bhaskar Shetty, District and Sessions Court here on Tuesday sentenced his wife Rajeshwari Shetty, son Navaneeth Shetty and her paramour Niranjan Bhat to life imprisonment after convicting them. While the fourth accused, Srinivas -- father of Niranjan Bhat, has died, the fifth accused Raghavendra, a driver, was acquitted for lack of evidence.

Bhaskar Shetty was murdered on July 28, 2016 at his residence in Indrali and his body was cut into pieces and burnt in a ‘Homakunda’ (holy fire pit) at a Yagashal in Nandalike. Considering the importance of the case, the government transferred it to the CID in August 2016.

The 52-year-old Bhaskar, who was running a chain of supermarkets in Saudi Arabia and a hotel in Udupi, had returned to his hometown in May 2016, two months before his murder. He soon came to know about his wife’s affair with Niranjan, who was the family priest. Bhaskar also chanced upon an intimate picture of his wife with the priest. Rajeshwari and their son Navaneeth plotted to eliminate Bhaskar fearing that he would disinherit them.

Bhaskar’s mother Gulabi filed a missing complaint with the Manipal police the day after the murder after she could not contact Bhaskar over phone. In her complaint, Gulabi had suspected that her daughter-in-law and grandson could be behind his disappearance. Eight days after the murder, the police took Rajeshwari and Navaneeth into custody and during the investigation, it was revealed that he was murdered.

Justice Subramanya J M announced the quantum of punishment on Tuesday. A release from the CID said that there were no eyewitnesses in the case and the team had collected circumstantial and scientific evidence leading to the conviction.

Pradeep Kumar, the lawyer for the accused, said they will appeal against the lower court order before the High court. “The allegation made by the prosecution against the accused is false and there is no evidence or eyewitnesses. The DNA of the deceased too is not proved. The bones and blood stains collected as evidence is that of a woman. The confession by the accused is not prima facie evidence as it is done before police and not judiciary,” he said.


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