A Mumbai court has awarded life term to famous artist Chintan Upadhyay days after holding him guilty of the charges of criminal conspiracy for the sensational killing of his estranged wife Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Haresh Bhambhani.
Hema (43) and Bhambani (65) were found murdered on December 11, 2015.
After hearing the arguments on quantum of sentence on Saturday, Session Judge S Y Bhosale Chintan to life imprisonment.
Three others - Vijay Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar - who worked in a fabrication unit - too were given life sentences.
The convicts were pronounced as guilty on October 5.
The prime suspect in the case, Vidyadhar Rajbhar, a metal fabrication artist, who the police claimed had carried out the murders at the behest of Chintan, has remained at large.
On 12 December, 2015, the offence came to light, when two bodies wrapped in plastic and packed in separate cardboard boxes were found dumped in an open drain at Dahanukarwadi in Kandivali here. The bodies were identified as those of Hema and Bhambhani.
Police had claimed that Hema and Chintan, married in 1998, were in a legal battle over divorce and alimony - for the past five years and there was dispute among them over a flat in Juhu.
The accused who carried out the killings were basically metal fabricators working for the couple.
The Supreme Court had granted bail to Upadhyay in September 2021.
Chintan was found guilty under Sections 109 with 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, while the three others were found guilty of sections 302 (murder), 201, 404 and 34 (common intention) of the IPC.
During the hearing of quantum on sentence, Chintan has said, “My conscience is clear, I have not committed any offence. I’m innocent. However, the court has found me guilty, no mercy should be shown. I’m ready to accept whatever punishment the court decides. I am good to accept. I believe in the law and I believe in the judiciary.”