The Bombay High Court on Thursday denied the Mumbai police Crime Branch full custody of three doctors accused of abetting fellow professional Payal Tadvi’s suicide, the Hindu reported. Instead, the court has granted the police partial custody of 4 days.
The case was heard by a single bench of Justice S.S. Shinde. He granted partial custody of Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal, all third-year resident doctors. They are currently in judicial custody.
The court permitted for partial custody for 4 days and allotted time for the Crime Branch to meet the doctors. Crime Branch can have the doctors in their custody from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The accused doctors can be interrogated in the crime branch unit and have to be sent back to jail before 6 pm, said the court.
It was on May 22 that Payal Tadvi (26) was found dead in her hostel room. She was a junior doctor at BYL Nair Hospital. Her family alleged that the accused doctors taunted her by ragging and hurling casteist abuses as she belonged to a Scheduled Tribe.
Tadvi’s autopsy report stated “evidence of ligature mark over the neck”. The counsel for Tadvi’s family, Nitin Satpute, alleged she had been murdered. “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,” he had said.
The case was transferred to the Crime Branch from the Agripada police station on May 30.