Rohini Court sent Sushil Kumar to 9 days judicial custody in connection with the Chhatrasal Stadium murder case, rejecting a plea for three more days of custodial interrogation.
The international wrestler faces charges of murder, culpable homicide and kidnapping. Dismissing the police remand application, Metropolitan Magistrate Rashmi Gupta said, “As per the settled law, PC [police custody] remand should not be granted in a mechanical manner. It should be granted only when the situation warrants and it is justified." Sushil was arrested on May 23. The court had initially remanded him to six days of police custody, which was later extended by four more days on May 29. He was produced in the court after the expiry of his extended custody.
Sushil Kumar and his associates allegedly assaulted Sagar Dhankar and two of his friends Sonu Mahal and Amit Kumar at the stadium on the intervening night of May 4 and 5 over a property dispute.
The 23-year-old Dhankar succumbed to the injuries later. Police has called Sushil the “main culprit and mastermind" of the alleged murder and said there is electronic evidence wherein he and his associates could be seen beating Dhankar with sticks.
During the course of proceedings on Wednesday, Additional Public Prosecutor Atul Shrivastava, representing the police, told the court that Sushil is not cooperating and that his custody is required to recover his mobile phone and the weapon of offence.
He also said that the DVR of CCTV camera installed at his house and the clothes he wore during the brawl have to be recovered, and that he has to be confronted with other persons arrested in the case. Shrivastava called it a “cold-blooded murder" as he referred to the purported video of the brawl.
“The first clinching evidence that we could collect is the video. Everything is crystal clear in the video but everyone [eight arrested accused] is saying it is not me," he said.
Advocate Pradeep Rana, representing Sushil Kumar, however, told the court that his client’s further custodial interrogation is not required as he is merely a victim of circumstances and not a dreaded criminal. He submitted that his client has already been taken to Bhatinda for the purpose of recovery of mobile phone and to Haridwar for the DVR and clothes.
“No new ground has been raised for seeking further remand," the counsel added. “About 240 hours have already been given to the police for interrogation. Why were they not able to recover his clothes and mobile in 10 days? They are just passing the time," advocate Rana said, requesting the court to not send him to police custody.
Co-accused Ajay Kumar Sehrawat, who was arrested along with Sushil from Mundka area, was also sent to judicial custody for nine days. Advocate Sumit Shokeen appeared on his behalf. Advocate Nitin Vashisht appeared for alleged victim and complainant Sonu Mahal. He had requested the court to extend the police custody.