Seeking the reversal of the trial court"s July 1 order that held him guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Jerome has said in his appeal in the Bombay High Court, “That motive, if any, was with the Original Accused No 1 for committing the offence and not with the Appellant/Original Accused No 2." According to the chargesheet, Susairaj is accused No. 1 and Jerome, No. 2.
Neeraj Grover, a media excecutive was brutally slaughtered on May 7, 2008 by Maria's fiance, Emile Jerome. Neeraj's body was chopped into pieces with a knife purchased for the purpose, transported to another suburb in gunny bags, where the corpse was set on fire. Maria and Jerome were arrested soon after. Maria was found guilty of destroying evidences.
Blaming Susairaj directly in his appeal, Jerome reiterates that the prosecution had not been able to ascertain the time of Grover"s death and hence it cannot be ruled out that Grover was already dead when Jerome landed in Mumbai that morning. He has also said that his conviction based on Susairaj"s confession is faulty as it was “exculpatory" in nature and not admissible in court.
.“That admittedly Original Accused No. 1 is one of the main accused in the matter, then authorship of the seized article cannot be solely attributed to the Appellant," Jerome"s appeal states.
Among reasons cited by Jerome for proving his innocence, he has said that Grover, according to the prosecution, “was in the house of the Original Accused No 1 from 11:30 pm of May 6, 2008 onwards and therefore the learned trial judge ought to have read the same as incriminating circumstances against the Original Accused No. 1."
He has further stated that Susairaj"s failure to explain Grover"s stay in her house, as required under the Indian Evidence Act, “has to be read against her."
“The inference of the learned trial judge that Original Accused No. 1 is female, feminine, weak and therefore cannot commit the murder of deceased Neeraj is perverse," Jerome states as ground number z-24 in his appeal before the High Court. Susairaj"s confession, that is believed to have fetched her a lighter sentence, “has been recorded mechanically rather than with application of mind," the appeal says.
“That only because Original Accused No. 1 allegedly while purchasing the article for destroying evidence did not run away or complain to anyone cannot be considered as voluntary act for holding the so called confessional statement voluntary in nature."