Indrani Mukherjea, who was admitted to state-run Sir J. J. Hospital in Mumbai on Friday in an unconscious state, has regained consciousness, doctors treating her said on Sunday.
Ms. Mukherjea, a prime accused in the murder of 24-year-old Sheena Bora in 2012, is said to be out of danger now. “She is conscious, but drowsy. She is responding to oral commands when one calls her. Her condition is better and she even drank water,” said Dr. T. P. Lahane, dean of the hospital. He added that Ms. Mukherjea will be kept under observation for next 24-48 hours.
According to Dr. Lahane, the hospital is giving treatment on the basis of ‘clinical findings’ to which she was responding well.
On Saturday, two different reports – one from the government forensic lab and other from a private hospital – showed different results, creating mystery around the results behind her unconscious state.
Though a forensic report of the gastric lavage taken from Ms. Mukherjea has ruled out drug overdose, the urine sample tested at a private hospital shows high levels of Benzodiazepine, a known anti-anxiety drug, with doctors indicating that the levels indicated she may have consumed at least 20 tablets.
“The forensic test is authentic and reliable and we have accepted the findings of the report,” Dr. Lahane said on Sunday.
“Whatever talk of overdose there has been, we can explain it two ways. We did the MRI in which the brain was found to be normal. We did other tests on the basis of clinical findings, on the basis of which diagnosis is done,” said Dr. Lahane.
Maharashtra Home Department officials had said that in such medico-legal cases, the government relied on the state-authorised Kalina forensic laboratory, and it would have to crosscheck why the urine sample report obtained from the private hospital had shown such a high level of the drug.
The probe ordered by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also handles the Home portfolio, commenced on Saturday with a preliminary inquiry showing that Ms. Mukherjea was prescribed anti-seizure and anti-anxiety medicines by a JJ Hospital psychiatrist on September 11, and the dosage was to last till September 26.
However, on Friday morning, she woke up at 5 a.m., had a bath and complained of dizziness at the Byculla women’s jail where she was lodged. Two doctors from Sir JJ Hospital and two jail doctors were summoned to treat her, but when her condition deteriorated, the jail authorities decided to admit her to Sir JJ Hospital around 2.30 p.m. Dr. Lahane said she was brought in an unconscious state.
Principal Home Secretary Vijay Satbir Singh had said the probe was looking into all aspects including whether the medicines or any other toxic substance she consumed were prescribed by the doctors and if there was an overdose, how that happened.
The probe is also looking at whether there was negligence or foul play and action would be taken against those found responsible, he had said. “After she regains consciousness, the statement she gives will provide vital information on how she fell unconscious and if there was a drug overdose, how did that happen. If there is an element of criminality, a case will be filed against those guilty,” Mr Singh said.