Sarangi Mahajan deposes as defence witness

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Mumbai, Nov 22 (UNI) Pravin Mahajan's wife Sarangi today deposed before a sessions court here as a defence witness in BJP leader Pramod Mahajan murder trial, where she claimed that she had sent the original SMS message, allegedly fabricated later to create a motive behind the murder of the slain leader.

The defence has taken a stand that a SMS message, purportedly sent by Pravin to Pramod Mahajan few days before the attack, was fabricated by the prosecution to create a motive behind the late leader's murder. To substantiate their claim, the defence has through its defence witness B Harikrishnan, given a successful demonstration to show that the text of any SMS message on a mobile could be easily altered or fabricated with the help of some softwares.

Sarangi today informed the Additional Sessions Judge Shrihari Davare that Pravin had, a talk with Pramod Mahajan on April 13 last year regarding their meeting. Thereafter, on April 15, Pravin had asked her to send him a SMS message to fix the time of the meeting, Sarangi said during her examination conducted by defence lawyer Harhad Ponda. Accordingly she had sent a Hindi text message to the slain BJP leader on April 16, as she forgot to send it on the same day --on April 15, she added.

Sarangi also informed that she has a locker in Thane branch of Shamrao Viththal Co-operative Bank, which contains her jewellery, documents and some cash. The prosecution has claimed that, she has withdrawn all the valuables from the locker on April 21, 2006 but, Sarangi claimed that all the valuables were still in the locker as it was seized by the police on May 27, 2006 and it remains seized even as on today.

To another question put to her by advocate Ponda regarding cash transferred to her account in the same branch, Sarangi said Pravin had transferred a total Rs 7.65 lakh on April 12 and 13 as she had to return Rs 5 lakhs taken from her brother Shailendra and remaining amount was to be used for renovation of their house.

After her deposition, the prosecution today requested the trial court to summon Pratap Aashar, private secretary to accused Pravin, as a prosecution witness, but the defence has taken strong exception to it and the issue will now be decided by the court.

Meanwhile, the prosecution has also moved applications requesting the trial court not to treat defence witness B Harikrishnan as an expert in mobile telephony and also requested the court to send the Motorola mobile handset, used by him to demonstrate fabrication of SMS contents, for forensic tests.

UNI

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