Police probe into Pratyusha Banerjee's death is on right track, feels HC

Apr 22, 2016, 11:42 IST | Vinay Dalvi

The Bombay High Court has put on hold the petition from Pratyusha Banerjee's parents to transfer the probe in the high-profile case to the Crime Branch

Contrary to the allegations made by Pratyusha Banerjee’s parents, the Bombay High Court found the police had made satisfactory progress in its investigation into the TV actress’ death.

Pratyusha Banerjee
Pratyusha Banerjee

Pratyusha’s mother Shoma Banerjee had approached the court with a request to have the probe transferred to the Crime Branch, alleging that the Bangur Nagar police were not doing the job properly. The HC has not rejected this application but has kept it on hold till May 5, when it will once again review the progress in the police probe.

“We find the investigations carried on by the Bangur Nagar police are on the right track, and don’t find it necessary to intervene in the investigations,” said Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Anant Badar yesterday.

The bench’s observation came as a disappointment to Soma, who was spotted crying in the courtroom as her husband, Shankar, tried to console her. In her petition, Soma had alleged that Pratyusha’s boyfriend, Rahul was not being investigated properly by the police. She said Rahul used to harass and torture her daughter and had full control on her money. He is currently charged with abetment of suicide in the case.

“Rahul had taken Pratyusha to the hospital all by himself; he did not take any help from anybody. He was not ready to claim her body after her death either, which raises suspicion. Rahul was himself admitted in a private hospital — the police should have had him admitted in a government hospital since he is an accused,” said lawyer KT Thomas, who was representing the Banerjees.

“He registered his mobile number to get alerts from Pratyusha bank account and removed her parents’ numbers, so that he could withdraw money from her account. He had withdrawn around Rs 23 lakh,” added Thomas in court.

Special public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde told the court that the investigation was proceeding smoothly. “We have recorded statements of 26 witness till date, including relatives, friends, neighbours, the maid and bank manager. We have learnt that Pratyusha was in a physical relationship and had conceived. We have recorded the statement of Dr Shinde who performed her abortion. Her two mobile handsets, along with Rahul’s, have been send to the forensic lab and we are awaiting reports to see if there was any fight between the two. Her viscera and pathology reports are also awaited,” Shinde said. The court was also told that a DCP was monitoring the investigations, which would finish in two months.

Justice Patil observed, “Major investigations in the case are complete. The cops are only waiting for reports. The investigations are on the right track; there are no eye witness so investigations will be depend on circumstantial investigations and evidence.”

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