Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Teenage egg donor death: Will start process for further probe, cops tell HC

Sushma Pandey's mother with Sushma's photo. Sushma Pandey's mother with Sushma's photo.
Written by Mayura Janwalkar | Mumbai | Posted: January 22, 2014 3:47 am | Updated: February 6, 2014 2:39 pm

The Mumbai Police Tuesday informed the Bombay High Court that they would file an application before the trial court to carry out further investigations into the mysterious death of teenage egg donor Sushma Pandey three-and-a-half years ago.

Last week, the court had pulled up the officers of the Saki Naka police station for shoddy investigations in the case and asked the deputy commissioner of police concerned to appear before the court. “This is not the manner in which such serious offences are to be investigated,” Justice Revati Mohite Dere had said.

On Tuesday, Justice Dere asked, “Is there no method of verifying the age (of the egg donor)?” The court was told that the clinic had stated that Pandey, 17, had furnished a PAN card that mentioned her name as ‘Sushma Dube’ and indicated her age to be 19 years.

Additional public prosecutor Usha Kejriwal, however, told the court that investigations revealed that there was no PAN card in the name of Sushma Pandey or Sushma Dube.

“Who is responsible for verifying the documents? No investigation has been done?” Justice Dere asked. The court noted that Pandey’s agreement to be an egg donor at ‘Rotunda: The Centre for Human Reproduction’ in Bandra, was signed by Noorjahan Munir as her ‘guardian’ and by a woman named Salma who had signed as a ‘witness.’

The police told the court that Salma was a staff at Rotunda. “Has her statement been recorded? Have you (police) checked if there is someone by the name of Salma in the hospital?” the court asked. The police said her statement had not been recorded.

The court said the earlier allegation of administering a stupefying substance made by Pandey’s mother Pramila against her employer Sunil Chaumal — who was discharged from the case in March 2012 — did not stand anymore. “She died only subsequent to egg donation,” Justice Dere said.

While hearing the application for discharge filed by Sanaullah Mustakin Khan alias Shanu, the man who allegedly accompanied Sushma to Rotunda two days before she died, Justice Dere asked if the police had recorded the statements of any of the doctors from Rotunda.

Additional public prosecutor Kejriwal said the statement of medical director Gautam Allahbadia was recorded. “What about the doctors who performed the procedure?” the court asked.

Kejriwal told the court that the police have decided to proceed according to Section 173 (8) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and will file an application in the sessions court on Thursday.

Course of Action

* Under Section 173 (8) of the CrPC, the police can carry out further investigation in a case in which a chargesheet has been filed

* The probe will be conducted by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Saki Naka division

* It will be supervised by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone X).

mayura.janwalkar@expressindia.com

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