Five years after woman’s death, HC orders further investigation

Karnataka HC ordered the police to complete the probe within three months  

Finding serious lapses, including failure to properly analyse the forensic report, the High Court of Karnataka has ordered further investigation into the death of a newly married woman that the police had termed a case of ‘suicide’ five years ago.

Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order while allowing a petition filed by Bhaskar Rao Nimbalkar from Chhattisgarh, who is the father of deceased Khusbhoo Nimbalkar.

The court directed the police to complete further investigation within three months and file a supplementary report to the jurisdictional court.

Khushboo, who was married to Amit Sheshrao Tayade, was living in the city since marriage, and was found dead at her husband’s house in June 2016.

Her father had alleged that she was murdered by her husband and others after being harassed for several months since her marriage in 2015.

The Hebbbal police in Bengaluru, based on the final remark in the post-mortem report that the woman’s death was “due to asphyxia as a result of hanging”, had come to a conclusion that she had “committed suicide”.

Post-mortem report

However, the court found from the forensic report that “neck tissues underlying the ligature mark are dry, white and glistening... Thyroid cartilage and Hyoid bone are intact.” “If the death had occurred due to hanging, thyroid cartilage is the first to break. That being intact it would prima facie indicate that the death was not due to hanging,” the court observed, while pointing out that the police failed to analyse the post-mortem report in detail.

Pointing out that “the difference between hanging and strangulation is delineated by the celebrated author P. Modi in the textbook of medicine which is referred to by the apex court in plethora of cases,” Justice Nagaprasanna said the investigating officer ought to have noticed the fact that the thyroid cartilage and hyoid bone were intact at the time when the post-mortem was carried out.

Noticing from the records that none had seen the victim in hanging position as witnesses had said she was lying down with saree hanging to the fan, the court wondered why did the police visit her house two days after the death.

Pointing out that the police did not record the statements of doctors in the two hospitals to which she was taken before she was pronounced dead at the second hospital, the court said the investigation report was silent on whether she was alive or not when taken to the hospital.

The High Court also noticed that the police had not taken into consideration the statement and the WhatsApp chat details given by one of her friends, who alleged that the victim had told him that her “husband tried to kill her three times by pressing her neck.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 10:20:04 PM |

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