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IIT-Powai staffer convicted for three years

MUMBAI: On Friday the Sewri Fasttrack Court No 3 convicted the S Vardarajan (57), a non-teaching IIT staffer, for kidnapping and spiking the coffee offered to a 27-year-old woman, pursuing PhD in IIT-Powai, last year on August 12. Vardarajan was also asked to pay Rs5,000 fine. If he fails to pay the fine his conviction period will be extended to another six months.

Powai police assistant inspector Asha Korake told TOI that Vardarajan was arrested on August 14 from the IIT campus. Since then he has been in judicial custody. The Bombay High Court has rejected his bail plea twice. "The conviction came with a strong documentation of the evidence that has been collected in the case. There are altogether eight witnesses in the case. The case was well supported with another victim who witnessed the same fate at the hands of Vardarajan in 2011. She turned witness in the case making the case stronger," said Korake.

Vardarajan, who is with the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) had befriended the victim, a 27-year-old woman pursuing her PhD at IIT. According to the victim, Vardarajan would keep tabs on her movement and developed a rapport with the victim by meeting her at the campus tennis court.

On August 12, after a routine game, he invited the victim home for breakfast. He told the victim that his wife would be at home. However, when they reached Vardarajan's home, it was discovered that his wife was at the temple and would be returning home soon. Vardarajan offered the victim a cup of coffee, which she alleged was spiked. Upon drinking the coffee, the victim fell unconscious.

The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) has carried out test and found that the victim had been poisoned. "The chemical analyser test showed the presence of a certain chemical that is usually found in sleeping pills. The accused is a habitual offender. We dug out a similar case where he tried a similar stunt on a woman in the presence of her husband. However, no complaint was filed at the time. However, we produced the medical reports of the woman and produced it in court," said Korake.

Meanwhile Vardarajan's lawyer stated that they will be approaching a higher authority, challenging the conviction as he is innocent. 

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