Crime Branch officers said the three accused — Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal — who were the first to enter Tadvi’s room after her body was taken away, are likely to have destroyed the original note and may have also have tried to damage the phone. The note appears to have been written on medical case papers in English, said an officer.
Currently in judicial custody, the accused will be produced before the Bombay High Court on Saturday. They had moved HC last week against a special court order rejecting their bail pleas on June 24.
Stronger police case
Finding a suicide note makes the police case against the three accused doctors stronger. Usually, a case of abetment to suicide is difficult to prove but the presence of a suicide note, naming the accused, will go a long way in helping the police case. In addition, attempts to destroy Payal Tadvi’s cellphone and the presence of the accused in her hostel room soon after her body was taken away after her suicide, is also set to go against the doctors.
“We will be seeking their custody to find out how they disposed the original suicide note… CCTV footage showed they had spent five minutes in Tadvi’s room after her suicide… We suspect they knew we could find evidence against them on her phone. Hence, they tried damaging it,” said a senior Crime Branch officer.
Apart from the note, the police have also found WhatsApp chat messages on Tadvi’s cellphone that they suspect proves that the deceased was harassed by the accused. “We will soon file a chargesheet. Since the accused tried to destroy the cellphone, we will also charge them under Section 201 of the IPC, pertaining to destruction of evidence,”Suicide said an officer.