HC refuses to transfer Pratyusha’s suicide probe to crime branch

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 22, 2016 13:17 IST
Television actor Pratyusha Banerjee, known for her role in popular TV series Balika Vadhu, committed suicide on April 1. A Mumbai police officer said the 24-year-old was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her house in Mumbai’s Goregaon. (PTI)

The Bombay high court on Thursday refused to transfer the ongoing investigation into the alleged suicide of television actor Pratyusha Bannerjee from Mumbai police.

Reviewing the case, a bench of Justices Naresh Patil and AM Badar observed that the Bangur Nagar police’s records showed the investigations were on track. The bench also noted that the probe conducted so far “did not prima facie show that the cops were favouring” Bannerjee’s boyfriend and the accused in the case, Rahul Raj Singh.

TV producer and actor Rahul Raj Singh at Bangur police station in Mumbai on Tuesday in connection with the investigations in Pratyusha Banerjee suicide case. (PTI)

The high court was hearing a plea filed by Pratyusha’s mother Soma Bannerjee who had alleged that the probe was “misleading,” “unfair,” and one that “intended to save the accused.”

Her counsel, advocate K T Thomas also argued that Bangur Nagar police seemed to be in “collusion” with Singh, who was booked on April 5 on charges of abetment of Pratyusha’s suicide.

Actor Rahul Raj Singh, coming out of Bangur Nagar Police Station after an investigation in actor Pratyusha Banerjee suicide case, in Mumbai. (PTI)

“The police are on track. They just need some time. Cases like these that do not have any eye witnesses require time. Abetment is a complex issue and the investigating agencies are required to form a conclusive opinion on abetment based on whatever evidence is available,” the bench said.

“...The police are recording exhaustive statements of crucial witnesses and looking into call records, bank statements, FSL (forensic) reports etc. Thus, at this stage, there is nothing to show that the ongoing probe is tainted or unfair.”

Read: TV actor Pratyusha Banerjee of Balika Vadhu fame commits suicide

However, the court did direct police to inform it on the progress it makes on May 4, the next date of hearing.

The directions came after the state government informed the court that it was awaiting the forensic lab reports to make concrete conclusions on the charge of abetment against Singh. The state submitted that it would take two months for the investigation to be completed.

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