Maria Susairaj walks a free woman

6 years ago | 03-07-2011 | IBNS

Mumbai, July 2 : Maria Susairaj, the Kannada actress acquitted in the case of murdering TV executive Neeraj Grover along with her fiance Jerome, walked free on Saturday amid a public outrage of their light sentences.

She was released from the Byculla Jail of Mumbai where she was lodged for three years.

She probably left with her brother for the Mumbai airport to catch a flight.

Maria was only punished for destroying the evidence of the murder for which the maximum sentence is three years in jail, which she already served since her arrest in 2008.

Her fiance Jerome was sentenced for ten years in jail by the Mumbai sessions court for the murder that hogged the national limelight.

Emile Jerome Mathew, the Navy Lieutenant fiance of Maria, was convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder for his crime at the fit of rage.

Since no conspiracy angle could be proved by the prosecution, the sentence was lighter.

What has shocked everyone was how the duo chopped off the body of Neeraj after the crime and burnt it later in a jungle.

The father of Neeraj Grover said the verdict was no justice and wanted severe punishment for Maria who he blamed for the entire episode. He would move higher court against Maria.

"I do not understand the logic behind different sentences when both of them together committed the crime. How come Maria get less punishment," said Amarnath Grover, father of Neeraj.

"Maria is the main culprit here. It was she who called Neeraj to her apartment despite having a boyfriend [Jerome]," said Grover.

He said the case should be reviewed.

Maria was acquitted on Thursday of the murder charge by a Mumbai sessions court which only found her guilty of destroying evidence.

While Maria was charged under Indian Penal Code Section 201 , Jerome has been convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under Section 304 (Part 1).

The intention behind the murder could not be proved in the court, the judge said.

Maria and Jerome were first accused of murdering Neeraj Grover and then mincing his body for disposing of near Mumbai.

It was assumed that Maria and Neeraj were seeing each other after the actress approached him for a showbiz career in Mumbai and that had angered her boyfriend and fiance Jerome when he found her with him in her apartment.

Grover was creative head of Synergy Adlabs and behind the famous show Kya Aap Paanchvi Pass Se Tez Hain?, hosted by Shah Rukh Khan.

Neeraj had been missing since May 7, 2008, but later police found some burnt human remains which the parents of Neeraj identified as their son's from a gold chain and locket.

Grover's chopped body was found near Manor jungles on May 7, 2008.

Jerome and Maria were arrested on May 21, 2008. Later Maria led the police to the body.