Artist Chintan Upadhyay gets life imprisonment for conspiring to kill wife

A court here on Tuesday sentenced artist Chintan Upadhyay to rigorous imprisonment for life for conspiring to kill his estranged wife Hema Upadhyay.

Hema and her lawyer Haresh Bhambhani were killed on December 11, 2015, and the bodies were stuffed into cardboard boxes and thrown into a ditch in Kandivali area of Mumbai.

Additional sessions judge S Y Bhosale of the Dindoshi court on October 5 held Chintan guilty of abetting and conspiring to kill his wife.

Three other accused, tempo driver Vijay Rajbhar and helpers Pradeep Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar, who worked with the absconding accused and art fabricator Vidyadhar Rajbhar, were found guilty of the double murder.

They were also sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life.

On Saturday, during the arguments on sentencing, Upadhyay told the court, “My conscience is clear, I have not committed any offence. I’m innocent.”

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“However, the court has found me guilty, no mercy should be shown. I’m ready to accept whatever punishment the court decides,” he added.

Vidyadhar Rajbhar, who is accused of executing the murders, has been absconding.

Chintan Upadhyay was arrested soon after the murders for allegedly conspiring to eliminate his wife.

He spent nearly six years in jail before being granted bail by the Supreme Court in September 2021.

In his final statement submitted before the court, Chintan had claimed the police were unable to crack the double murder and hence implicated him in a false case taking advantage of his and Hema’s matrimonial dispute.

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