HC pulls up Bengaluru cops for botched probe into death

HC pulls up Bengaluru police for botched probe into woman's death

Khushboo was found hanging in her home in Hebbal police station limits in August 2016

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

The high court has censured the Bengaluru police for botching up the investigation into the death of a woman in Hebbal five years ago. 

Noting that the cops followed the final opinion without doing a proper investigation, Justice M Nagaprasanna directed them to conduct a further probe into the death of Khushboo Nimbalkar. 

Khushboo was found hanging in her home in Hebbal police station limits in August 2016. Her father, Bhaskar Rao Nimbalkar, a resident of Chhattisgarh, had petitioned the high court seeking a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the death. 

He told the court that his daughter’s death occurred within 18 months of her marriage, which had taken place in January 2015. 

Rao said that while he had named Khushboo’s husband, sister-in-law, father-in-law and mother-in-law in a complaint that he filed with Hebbal police, he accused the cops of doing a “shoddy” investigation and pointed out that they had dropped IPC section 302 (murder) from the charge sheet. 

The court noted that the police had visited the place two days after the incident and did not record the statement of doctors although Khushboo was taken to two hospitals before being declared dead. Besides, the court pointed out, the investigating officer had not carried out the investigation on the basis of the entire post-mortem report and instead closed it down by relying only on the final opinion which stated that the “death was due to asphyxia as a result of hanging”. 

“The post-mortem report narrates that the “thyroid cartilage and hyoid bone are intact”. Neck tissues underlying the ligature mark are dry, white and glistening. If the death had occurred due to hanging, thyroid cartilage is the first to break. That being intact, it would prima facie indicate that the death was not due to hanging,” the court said. 

The investigating officer did not consider Shobha’s last chat with a friend in which she had said that her husband tried to kill her three times by pressing her neck, the court said. 

The court has directed the police to conclude the further investigation within three months and submit a supplementary charge sheet within a month thereafter to be construed by the trial court. 

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