The Bombay High Court, while hearing a suicide case, has pulled up the city police commissioner for not abiding by its directions of making the post-mortem report part of the chargesheet filed by it.
The court was hearing the bail plea of a man charged with cruelty after his wife allegedly committed suicide in September last year.
During the course of the investigation in the case, police had added charges of dowry death after the woman’s father alleged that his son-in-law and his family members were harassing her with a dowry demand of Rs 1 lakh.
Observing that the post-mortem records were signed only on August 10, 2014, Justice Sadhana Jadhav, who was hearing the case, said it simply indicated that the Investigating Officer had not collected the post-mortem notes from the medical officer at Boriwali Hospital for one year.
“Post-mortem notes have been brought on record only after it was noticed by this court. Earlier, it was submitted by the prosecution before the Sessions Court that final cause of death had not been ascertained and therefore bail was not granted,” Justice Jadhav said, while granting bail to the accused.
According to the court, post-mortem notes indicated that while the probable cause of deaths is “evidence of ligature mark over neck”, the “final cause of death is asphyxia due to hanging”.
“This would make it amply clear that an incomplete chargesheet was filed… The said practice has been deprecated by this court on several occasions. However, it appears that the Commissioner of Police has not taken cognizance of the observations made by this court earlier,” the judge said.
The HC then asked police commissioners of Mumbai and Thane to consider this aspect “seriously” and follow the law “in letter and spirit”.
The court also pointed out that it could not be said that the applicant (husband) had harassed the woman to such an extent that she would be driven to cause injury to herself or commit suicide.
“The allegation of demand of a dowry of Rs 1 lakh appears to be an afterthought. In addition, the applicant has been in jail for more than one year and hence he deserves to be enlarged on bail,” the HC said.