Prosecution’s plea for accused’s police custody was rejected.
Mumbai: The city civil and sessions court sent the three accused doctors of BYL Nair Hospital who were arrested in connection with the death of their colleague Dr Payal Tadvi to judicial custody till June 10.
The judge did not accept the argument of the crime branch, which took over the case from local police on Thursday, to extend their custody for further probe in the matter. He then remanded the trio in judicial custody.
The state government has appointed senior lawyer Raja Thakare as special public prosecutor in the case who argued before the additional sessions judge R.M. Sadrani that the case has been transferred to the crime branch from city police and the agency has not got an opportunity to interrogate the accused.
He also contended that the investigating agency is trying to find the suicide note left behind by Tadvi and for that purpose they need the custody of the accused.
Mr Thakre also contended that the investigating officer wants to confront the accused with the witnesses who have witnessed the incident of alleged harassment of Tadvi at the hands of the accused doctors. He also claimed before the court that the accused were not cooperating in the investigation and hence custodial interrogation was necessary.
Mr Thakre also submitted the copy of complaint made by Tadvi to the dean of BYL Nair Hospital on May 13, 2019 regarding ragging but later the complaint was withdrawn.
On the other hand advocate Abad Ponda and Sandeep Bali on behalf of accused doctors — Dr Bhakti Mehare (26), Dr Hema Ahuja (28) and Dr Ankita Khandelwal (26) — argued that merely change of an investigating agency could not be a ground to extend the police custody of accused.
They also argued that none of the witnesses have stated that there is a suicide note and for recording the statements of witnesses custody of the accused is not required.
After hearing the arguments judge Sadrani said, “The case diary or the post mortem report revealed nothing that could prove that it was murder.”
The judge further added, “Investigation has been carried out for last two days but no substantial evidence has been collected, so further police custody cannot be granted.”
He also noted that further police custody was sought to confront the accused with witnesses. “All the grounds raised by the prosecution for the police custody are not sufficient. Therefore application for the police custody is rejected and the accused be remanded in judicial custody till June 10,” said the judge.