The Bombay High Court, on July 2, 'reluctantly' ordered a second post-mortem in the case of a man, whose corpse has been lying unclaimed in the mortuary at Rajawadi Hospital for more than a month now. The second autopsy has been ordered as the family members of the man have refused to accept the first autopsy report, which shows the cause of his death as being from coronary artery disease.
A bench of Justices Amjad Sayed and Nitin Borkar ordered Rajawadi Hospital to conduct a second autopsy on Balu Gavale, the man allegedly assaulted by a group of four men on June 1 near a public toilet, next to his house in Collectors Colony, Chembur. The group had an altercation with Gavale over maintaining social distance in the toilet line.
Gavale was declared dead on arrival 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, which wants the accused to be booked under murder charges.
Accordingly, Gavale's son Rajesh has moved the Bombay HC, seeking directive to the police to invoke murder charges.
On Thursday, when the petition came up for hearing before the bench led by Justice Sayed, the judges were informed the body was still lying in Rajawadi hospital. The bench was further told that the family isn't ready to accept the autopsy report, as it shows Gavale's cause of death as coronary artery disease and that there is no mention of any injury caused allegedly due to the assault.
Having heard the contentions, Justice Sayed said, "Though prima facie we were not with the applicant (Gavale's son), inasmuch as the contention that he has lost his father, out of compassion and to allay his suspicion about alleged foul play in the post-mortem report of his father, we suggested to the prosecution whether a second postmortem can be performed."
Prosecutor J Yagnik informed the bench that the authorities were willing to conduct a second post mortem.
Accepting the statement, Justice Sayed said, "We direct that the postmortem of the body be conducted by a panel of two doctors of Rajawadi Hospital as nominated by the Dean (which would be doctors other than the doctor who performed the first postmortem) not later than three days from today."
Pandey assured the bench that the body would be claimed within two days of the second post-mortem report being handed over to the family and if the Gavale family fails to do so then the police may take steps to cremate the body.