MUMBAI: A 40-year-old engineer’s inability to explain how his dead wife’s blood appeared on clothes he was wearing the day she was bludgeoned to death at their Mulund home in 2017 has led to his conviction and life sentence. A sessions court recently found Jayesh Mhadlekar guilty of murdering his estranged wife, Shreya (33), after suspecting her of having an affair.
Jayesh absconded after her death and returned few days later. He denied involvement and claimed he was in Hyderabad at that time. The court refuted his defence and said there was no railway ticket.
Shreya, employed with a private hospital then, had been a victim of repeated domestic violence, with Jayesh even hitting her with a pressure cooker once and ripping out her hair.
Describing the murder as “cold-blooded”, judge A M Khan said, “The prosecution succeeded in establishing the accused had motive to commit the offence as relations with the deceased wife were strained, and there were instances of his assaulting her prior to the present crime.”
The couple had eloped in 2003 and their son was born in 2005. Shreya’s mother, a prosecution witness, told court Jayesh always doubted her character, would drink and repeatedly harass and assault her. Police complaints were made and subsequently police would get back together. The mother said around a month before the murder on January 26, 2017, she had moved back home with her son.
She submitted that at around 10am that day Jayesh came to take Shreya back but she refused to go. The mother said that Jayesh left at 10.30am and within few minutes Shreya too left. The mother said she saw Jayesh in the passage. She recalled that Shreya told her that she would accompany him till the ground floor.
When the victim did not return, the mother said she assumed she had left for work. But later, when the family called the hospital, they were told she had not reported to work. After a frantic search, when Shreya’s sister and mother went to her marital home, they found her motionless with severe head injuries.
The accused could not be reached on his phone.
The prosecution submitted that the accused killed her after taking her home.
Among 14 other witnesses were those who had seen Jayesh in Shreya’s building and others who saw them leave together. A neighbour from their marital home had seen Shreya arriving at that building.
“The prosecution proved the deceased was last seen with the accused soon before death. The prosecution proved all circumstances pressed by them against the accused to prove guilt of the accused,” the court said.