The post-mortem report of Payal Tadvi, who allegedly ended her life after facing "extreme harassment" and casteist remarks, has revealed evidence of a ligature mark on her neck. Under 'provisional cause of death', the autopsy report stated 'evidence of ligature mark over the neck.'
A Mumbai court on Wednesday (May 29) sent all the three accused in the suicide case of postgraduate medical student doctor to two-day police custody as her family sought directions for the crime to be treated as a murder.
The lawyer representing Tadvi's family told the court that the circumstances of her death suggested it was a murder case.
"From the circumstances of her death and bruise mark on her body, we can say that it must be a case of murder and not of suicide. Police must investigate this case in the lines of a murder investigation. Police should be given 14 days time for that," said Nitin Satpute, counsel representing the deceased's family as quoted by news agency ANI.
Satpute alleged that the accused had taken her body to some other place and later it brought it to the hospital so there is a suspicion of tampering with the evidence.
The case was being heard before magistrate RM Sadrani of a Mumbai sessions court.
Seeking the maximum custody of 14 days, prosecutor Jay Singh Desai told the magistrate that the witnesses are under pressure.
"The accused are superior to almost every witness in the case. Witnesses are afraid of the accused to give their statement. This case may create social unrest if not investigated properly. The police have to retrieve WhatsApp communication from the phones of the accused," Desai argued.
In defence, the lawyers representing the accused dismissed the charge of abetment of suicide and told the court that the three were not aware of Tadvi's caste.
Responding to the request of treating the case as a murder, accused Bhakti Mehre's counsel Sandip Bali said, "As the intervener claimed that this is a murder case, I will emphasize that let all medical reports come in."
Mehre's lawyer also contended that the abetment of suicide charge, saying that it is only based on the statement of Tadvi's mother and is not supported by any other proof.
Advocate Abad Ponda, appearing for accused Hema Ahuja and Ankita Khandelwal, rubbished the claims that the deceased was harassed on the basis of her social identity.
"Accused were not aware that the deceased got admission under any quota so they did not know her caste," he argued.
The accused, Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehre and Hema Ahuja, were arrested for allegedly abetting the post-graduate medical student Dr Tadvi, who belonged to the Scheduled Tribe community, to end her life at her hostel in BYL Nair Hospital on May 22.
The hospital administration had formed an anti-ragging committee to probe the case.
The Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) had suspended the three doctors, who on Monday, wrote to the association urging for a fair probe.