A chargesheet filed on Tuesday by the Mumbai Police in the Payal Tadvi suicide case said the handwriting in a suicide note found in her mobile phone had been confirmed to be hers, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.
In the 1,203-page chargesheet filed on Tuesday, the police alleged that doctors Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal abetted the suicide of their junior colleague. The chargesheet was filed in a special court set up under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Tadvi, who worked at the Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai, committed suicide on May 22 after allegedly facing casteist abuse from the three doctors. After their arrest, the accused denied the accusations in a letter to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors, and demanded a “fair inquiry”. They were arrested on May 29, and in June, a special court dismissed their bail plea.
The chargesheet contains statements from almost 180 witnesses in addition to the suicide note. The witnesses include those who were present when the doctors allegedly shouted at Tadvi. The police have also compiled the statements of colleagues, other staff members and Tadvi’s seniors at the hospital.
The accused have been charged with abetment of suicide, destruction of evidence and common intent, as well as under the SC/ST Act, Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and Information Technology Act, The Indian Express reported.
An analyst told the police that the handwriting in the photograph of the suicide note had matched with her writing samples, an unidentified official was quoted as saying. “The three-page suicide note, written in English on medical documents, is strong evidence documented by Payal herself against the three doctors,” the official added. “With the verification, we believe it is irrefutable.”
Tadvi had clicked photographs of the suicide note at 5.04 pm, a few minutes after receiving a call from Hema Ahuja. A friend of Tadvi’s told the police that the doctor was harassed by the accused as she had got admission through the Scheduled Tribes quota.
On Tuesday, the Bombay High Court said it would hear the bail applications of the three doctors on Thursday. The court said it needed to take certain factors into consideration before taking a decision.