The Mumbai police has opposed the bail application filed by the three doctors booked for the alleged abetment of suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi, the 26-year-old medical student, last month stating that they did not provide any satisfactory answers during the probe on why they returned to Payal’s room after the suicide.
In its nine-page report, police has stated that the three accused — Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal, were the first to reach Payal’s room on May 22.
“The three accused have not cooperated at all in the interrogation as if they were prepared and taught to give only particular answers to the questions put up by the police. They were the first to reach Payal’s room after the incident and were present there for a long time and when she was taken to the hospital. The accused also returned to the room and were inside for over five minutes. This shows the behaviour of the accused who are doctors is that of someone with a cold, criminal bent,” states the reply to the bail pleas of the three accused.
The reply also states that during interrogation, the accused did not give satisfactory answers about their presence in Payal’s room and whether they had anything to do with the disappearance of the suicide note or any other evidence, including from her phone, which was in the room.
Tadvi, a postgraduate student in the gynaecology department of Mumbai’s T N Topiwala National Medical College, allegedly committed suicide following alleged harassment including caste-based harassment by her three seniors, who are the accused in the case.
Police said on the day of the incident, Tadvi was harassed over a photograph put up (on WhatsApp) by one of her friends of them having dinner the previous night.
Police also said witness statements show that Payal was reprimanded by the accused in the operation theatre, which was heard by many.
Police said a report from the forensic science laboratory on the phones of the accused and Tadvi’s mobile phone is yet to be received and based on it, several witnesses are to be examined. Police has claimed that since the girls belong to highly-educated and prosperous families, their social and economic standing could have an adverse effect on the probe.
Police also claimed that they could pressurise witnesses if released on bail. Special public prosecutor Raja Thakare sought an adjournment for hearing on the bail, stating that an endeavour was being made to video-record the court proceedings following a plea made by Payal’s mother, Abida, the complainant in the case.
Advocate Aabad Ponda, representing the accused, said not all proceedings are mandatory to be video-recorded and the three doctors can be released on interim bail. “They are unmarried, young doctors. They are doctors, they save human lives, they don’t take human lives. In the fight between the state and the complainant for video-recording the proceedings, we are languishing in an overcrowded jail in Byculla for over 20 days,” Ponda argued. Advocate Gunratan Sadavarte, representing Payal’s mother sought for the state to make arrangements as per provisions of the Act before hearing the bail applications.
The special court will decide on the plea regarding adjournment till the video-recording facility is arranged on Wednesday.