The mystery behind the death of Geetanjali Garg, wife of former Gurgaon chief judicial magistrate Ravneet Garg, has deepened as a contrasting opinion of board of forensic medicine experts has emerged.
This ‘new’ report, dated, February 13, 2013, says that the possibility of injuries on the deceased’s body “being homicidal cannot be ruled out and the possibility of them being self-inflicted is remote”. The CBI itself had set up the medical board that gave this report.
The conclusion is at variance with the one expressed by a board of five doctors of department of forensic medicine and toxicology of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) dated February 4, 2016, which opined that “...the cause of death in the case was haemorrhagic shock due to firearm projectile injuries and it is suggestive of suicidal in nature which may be corroborated with circumstantial and legal evidences of investigation.”
Geetanjali was found dead in a park in the police lines in Gurgaon on July 17, 2013, with a licenced revolver of judge close to her body.
The CBI is relying on the AIIMS report while the defence lawyers of judge Ravneet Garg, who is accused of dowry death, relies on forensic experts’ report of 2013. The bail application of Ravneet filed through advocate Vishal Garg Narwana claims that Geetanjali was murdered.
For the 2013 report, Prof Anil Mittal, forensic medicine head, Safdarjang Hospital at Delhi, prof NK Aggarwal, forensic medicine head, University College of Medical Sciences at Delhi, and Dr Sreenivas M who is an associate professor of forensic medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi, were part of the board. They had met the investigating officer and ballistic expert of the CBI, visited the scene of crime and had a meeting with doctors who had conducted the post-mortem and ballistic experts of CFSL before finalising the report. There were four injuries on Geetanjali’s body.
They have claimed that “the possibility of an individual firing multiple bullets over herself is minimal, when at least two of them were sufficient to have caused death”. Also, they claimed, “The alleged weapon of offence, i.e revolver was found to be at some distance from the body. Usually in the cases of suicides/self inflicted injury, weapon of offence is found either clenched in the hand or if fallen it would be at location quite near the hand.”
In 2016, the CBI sought another opinion this time from AIIMS. This panel included prof T Millo, additional prof Adarsh Kumar, assistant prof Kulbhushan Prasad, senior resident Dr Rajankanta Swain and head of department prof Sudhir K Gupta.
These doctors opined that the injury on lower abdomen which was abrasion fire arm-injury is “suggestive of hesitation shot injury which can be seen in suicide cases” and injury on left side of chest and the injury, below chin, suggests close contact range.
They reported that injuries below chin and left side of chest were “one of the commonest preferred sites for suicidal firearm injury”.
They have commented that firearm remaining clenched in fist in suicide cases was only in 25% cases while in 70% cases it was on the body of deceased, touching the body or around 1 feet away from it.
The psychological autopsy study of Geetanjali conducted by CBI, opined on January 23, 2015, that she ‘might have committed suicide’.