Rajawadi Hospital
Rajawadi Hospital

Despite an order from the Bombay High Court, the deadbody of a man is lying in the mortuary of Rajawadi hospital from last seven days as his family want a second and independent autopsy. The family alleges that the authorities have "managed" the autopsy as they are trying to suppress his murder.

The man - Balu Gavale,was allegedly assaulted by a group of four men on June 1 near a public toilet, next to his house in Collector Colony, Chembur. The group had an altercation with Gavale over maintaining social distance in the toilet line.

Gavale was declared brought dead on the night of June 1 at Shatabdi hospital at Chembur. However, the police did not lodge any First Information Report (FIR) despite his son - Rajesh filing a complaint with the Chembur police station.

"Initially they did not register an FIR but later they filed one. But that too was not filed under charges of murder. The cops only invoked the provisions of voluntarily causing hurt and common intention along with criminal intimidation, against the accused," said Prashant Pandey, the advocate representing the Gavale family.

Accordingly, Rajesh moved the Bombay High Court seeking direction to the Chembur police to invoke murder charges against the four culprits. The plea also sought transfer of the probe to state CID, alleging malafide on part of the Chembur police.

"They initially tried to show Balu's death to be caused by Covid-19. Then we asked them to conduct the Covid test and the results returned negative. We then asked for a videographed postmortem of his body since the police and other authorities are trying to suppress the murder," the advocate said.

The matter was heard first on June 5, when a HC bench led by Justice Sambhaji Shinde had ordered the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai to look into the issue.

It was further heard on Tuesday, wherein the bench of Justices Ujjal Bhuyan and Riyaz Chagla noted that the postmortem was conducted at Rajawadi hospital and that the relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC) would be added after the final cause of death is confirmed.

The prosecution further told the bench that the family members are not takinh the body, though the same is ready for being handed over."We feel that the investigating authority should submit a status report regarding the progress of investigation made in this regard in a sealed cover. In the meantime, for completing the religious rites of the victim, his son or other family members may take the body, after completing the necessary formalities," Justice Bhuyan had ordered on Tuesday.However, the family is yet not ready to take the body. "We won't take the body till an independent autopsy is conducted and the probe is transferred to the CID. The preliminary cause of death given by Rajawadi is not satisfactory and thus we want a second autopsy now," advocate Pandey added.The family has moved filed another application seeking a second autopsy, which is likely to be heard on Friday.

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Free Press Journal