Former Navy officer Emile Jerome and his girlfriend Maria Susairaj, who is a Kannada actress, were today awarded rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and three years respectively by a Mumbai court in the sensational murder of TV executive Neeraj Grover.
Sessions court Judge N.W. Chandwani, who had yesterday convicted the struggling actress and her fiancé Jerome in the case, pronounced the sentence after hearing arguments by the prosecution and defence on the quantum of punishment.
Three years after Neeraj Grover was killed and his body hacked into pieces and disposed of in a forest in adjoining Thane, the court had absolved Maria and Jerome of murder charges after holding them guilty of lesser offences.
Jerome was convicted on the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 (part I) IPC which attracts life term in jail or imprisonment up to ten years. Both he and Maria were also found guilty of trying to destroy evidence under section 201 IPC which provides for a maximum three years in jail.
Since Maria has already served more than three years in prison, she can now walk free.
Judge Chandwani, while delivering the verdict, held that Jerome had acted on the spur of the moment and that the killing was not premeditated.
“When he entered the room he was calm. This showed he did not have intention (to murder). Obviously for a fiancé, in a situation where he finds a stranger with his partner, would upset a prudent man and he would lose control,” the judge had remarked, while convicting them under lighter charges.
According to the prosecution, Jerome had gone to Maria’s residence in suburban Malad on May 7, 2008 where he got into a fight with Grover (26) during which the naval officer stabbed the TV executive to death. Susairaj and Jerome later cut Grover’s body into pieces and disposed it in Manor forest in Thane.
Both the accused had been charged by the prosecution with murder, criminal conspiracy, common intention and causing disappearance of evidence.