Payal Tadvi suicide case: Arrested doctors move court for bail
The Mumbai crime branch will soon approach the Bombay high court (HC), seeking custody of the three senior doctors.Updated: Jun 04, 2019 01:09 IST
The three senior doctors who were recently arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of 26-year-old Dr Payal Tadvi, a post graduate student at BYL Nair Hospital, approached a sessions court for bail on Monday. The bail plea is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday.
The three accused – Dr Hema Ahuja, Dr Bhakti Mehare and Dr Ankita Khandelwal – have denied charges of caste-based harassment and argued that Dr Tadvi had merely been pulled up for not performing her duties properly.
After Dr Tadvi committed suicide in her hostel room in BYL Nair Hospital, her family members claimed she was harassed for belonging to a tribal community and being a quota student. Agripada police then registered a case against the three senior doctors for abetment of suicide.
The three accused were arrested last week and remanded in judicial custody on Friday. The bail application, filed through the accused’s lawyers contended that there was no immediate incident of harassment that may have led to Dr Tadvi’s suicide.
The victim’s family had claimed that before Dr Tadvi killed herself, she had gone for lunch, where the accused doctors humiliated her. In the bail plea, the accused claimed that Dr Tadvi had not gone for lunch but for dinner, and the same can be proved though her social media post. “There was lapse of time between the deceased going out for dinner and time of committing suicide. At any rate, even the allegation of harassment, assuming to be true for sake of argument, would not lead to suicide or abetment of suicide,” reads the bail plea.
They claimed the allegations are vague and lack specific details about the alleged harassment took place. They said their relationship with Dr Tadvi was only work-related. “Situation[s] may arise where things are stressful and people may decide to conduct themselves with high efficiency and pull up others who don’t. If the deceased was acting in a manner, which was not proper as a student and as a trainee, she was expected to be pulled up,” reads the bail plea.
Crime branch to move Bombay HC for custody of accused
The Mumbai crime branch will soon approach the Bombay high court (HC), seeking custody of the three senior doctors arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi. Apart from conducting custodial interrogation of the three accused, the crime branch also wants to ascertain whether Dr Tadvi left a suicide note, said a crime branch officer. The Agripada police had last month filed a first information report (FIR) against the three doctors for allegedly abetting the suicide, under relevant sections of the Indian penal code (IPC), SC/ST Atrocities Act, Anti-Ragging Act and Information Technology Act, 2000.
Following the arrest of the three accused, the case was transferred to the crime branch on May 30. However, on May 31, the accused were sent to judicial custody. The crime branch, which barely got time to interrogate the accused, moved the sessions court to extend their custody of the accused. However, their plea was denied.
Crime branch officers said that according to the investigation so far, it was found that Dr Tadvi was constantly harassed by the accused for belonging to a tribal community and being a quota student. “The case mostly rests on statements of Dr Tadvi’s relatives, friends and colleagues. It is of importance to the investigation that we get the custody of the three doctors to ensure there are no loopholes in the case,” said a senior crime branch officer.
Meanwhile, the state government committee, set up to investigate the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi, is yet to submit its report to senior government officials, said one of the panel members. The committee members had earlier said the report would be submitted Monday. Dr Prakash Wakode from the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), who is heading the probe, said it will take a couple more days for the investigation to be completed.
(With inputs from Aayushi Pratap)