'Told Me Will Fully Cooperate': Aaftab's Lawyer on Mulaqat With Murder Accused

Avinash Kumar told The Quint, "When I move for bail, it will be good grounds for me to state Aaftab's cooperation."
Upendra Kumar & Samarth Grover
India
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Aaftab Poonawala's defence counsel Avinash Kumar.

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(Photo: Deeksha Malhotra/The Quint)

)<div class="paragraphs"><p>Aaftab Poonawala's defence counsel Avinash Kumar.</p></div>

"It is his constitutional right and to provide that to him, I have been appointed by the court," said Aaftab Poonawala's defence counsel Avinash Kumar.

A resident of Delhi for the past 20 years, Kumar studied law (LLB and LLM) from Delhi University's Faculty of Law, and has been a practising criminal lawyer since.

As Delhi Police continues its investigation in the murder of 27-year-old Shraddha Walkar, accused Aaftab's lawyer Kumar, in an interview with The Quint, spoke about his one five-minute meeting with the accused, the alleged confession to the police, and his strategy moving forward.

'His Cooperation Will Be Good Grounds for Bail'

Speaking about his meeting with Poonawala, Kumar said, "I have met him once for around 5-6 minutes but the mulaqats will happen. Since the case is in the initial stage, there is no point in hurrying."

"He was calm and sober in our first meeting. He answered my questions clearly. He told me that he will fully cooperate. So, whenever I move for bail, it will be good grounds for me to state the same," Kumar added.

On being asked about the media attention on the case, he said, "Any case with the attention of the media, becomes difficult to handle. The facts become blurry. Misinformation is spread about the accused, already blotting his image. It will be better to discuss the facts of the case when the charge sheet is actually filed."

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‘Police Are Doing Their Duty and I’m Doing Mine'

While media reports and the police have claimed that the accused 'confessed' to the police and the court, Kumar disagreed. He said, "I don’t know what Aaftab said or did not say to the Delhi Police. When the charge sheet is filed, the details of the case will only be available then."

Talking about the accused's family, the counsel said, "I am not in touch with the family. When there is a need, I will try, but there is no need yet. It is also a matter of their lives so I would rather let their information remain discreet."

Speaking about the the communal claims being raised and whether he had received any threats, Kumar said, "No, and I will appeal to the people to not raise any communal agenda. Our legal fraternity is also cooperating."

The police suspect that the accused has been "lying" to them in order to mislead them. Moreover, key evidence such as the murder weapon, or the establishing of the victim's identity through the body remains found, is yet to be concretised.

Speaking about the polygraph test and narco-analysis, which the police expects will further their investigation, Kumar said, "It is a part of the police's investigation. They are doing their duty and I'm doing mine."

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