New Delhi: Kannada actress Maria Susairaj - sentenced to a three-year jail term in Neeraj Grover murder case - walked free on Saturday.
Susairaj got into a white car right after she was released from jail. There was heavy police cover deployed outside the Byculla Jail.
A Mumbai court had sentenced her for 3 years for destruction of evidence in the gruesome Neeraj Grover murder case, which she has already served.
There's been widespread criticism about the verdict with Neeraj Grover's family calling it an unfair acquittal.
"The way she walks out and the police escorting her, it is all absurd. I spoke to Neeraj's parents, they will be in Mumbai soon. Nobody was expecting Maria to go scotfree," said Morada, Neeraj Grover's friend.
In May 2008, Naval officer Emile Jermoe and his fiancee Maria Susairaj were accused of stabbing Neeraj Grover to death, and chopping up his body into as many as 300 pieces and disposing it off.
Three years later, Emile Jerome - convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder - got ten years' rigorous imprisonment, for killing Grover in a fit of jealousy.
In the final arguments before the judge, the prosecution claimed that:
- Maria was an active partner in the crime
- She tried to mislead the police after the murder
- Emile, a trained naval officer who was aware of the consequences did not try to save Neeraj
- Both brutally chopped off Neeraj's body and disposed it off.
Emile's lawyer defended him by saying that:
- Emile was provoked by circumstances and that he had no intention to kill
- His crime should be seen in the light that he was naval officer who served his country
Maria Susairaj's lawyer argued for a lenient sentence.