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Salman house firing case: Bombay HC fumes over 'incomplete' autopsy report of accused who died in lock-up

While the police claim that Anuj Thapan had killed himself, his mother Rita Devi in her petition filed on May 3 in the high court alleged foul play and claimed that he was killed.
Last Updated : 22 May 2024, 16:38 IST
Last Updated : 22 May 2024, 16:38 IST

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday fumed over the 'incomplete' autopsy report of Anuj Thapan, an accused arrested in connection with firing outside actor Salman Khan's house and died in police custody.

A vacation bench of Justices N R Borkar and Somasekhar Sundaresan perused the post-mortem report and said it does not include vital details, such as diagram of the ligature mark found on the neck of the deceased's body and if there were any other injuries on the body.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Rita Devi, the mother of accused Anuj Thapan, who died on May 1 inside the toilet of the lock-up of the Mumbai police's crime branch.

While the police claim that Thapan killed himself, his mother Rita Devi in her petition filed on May 3 in the high court alleged foul play and claimed that he was killed.

Devi in the plea sought the HC to direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the death of her son.

The petition said that Thapan was physically assaulted and tortured by the police in custody.

On Wednesday, additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik submitted a preliminary report on the inquiry being carried out by the state CID into Thapan's death.

Yagnik also submitted Thapan's post-mortem report.

The court perused it and said that as per the report, the cause of the death is asphyxiation, but certain other details were missing.

'Where is the diagram of the ligature mark? Is the ligature mark oblique in shape or round? Death by asphyxiation can also be because of strangling. It need not be because of hanging only,' the court said.

It added that the report also does not have the column giving details of whether there were any other injuries on the deceased's body.

"This is not a complete post-mortem report. It is incomplete," the high court said.

Yagnik said the investigating team would make necessary enquiries with the doctors concerned.

The bench directed a copy of the report to be handed over to the petitioner and posted the matter for further hearing in June.

Senior counsel Aabad Ponda, appearing for Salman Khan, sought deletion of the actor's name as party respondent in the plea and claimed that the petitioner has not made any pleadings against the actor.

'The actor is in fact the victim here. Someone tried to attack him (Khan) and his house. He does not know who is behind the attacks and who have been arrested,' Ponda said.

He added that naming him as a respondent in the present plea was sending a wrong signal and causing damage to his reputation.

Devi's advocate submitted to the court that at present the petitioner was not seeking any relief or action against Khan.

The court took note of the same.

On April 14, two bike-borne persons opened fire outside actor Salman Khan's residence in Bandra area.

The duo - Vicky Gupta and Sagar Pal - was later arrested from Gujarat. Thapan was arrested on April 26 from Punjab along with one other person in the case.

A total of six persons were arrested in the case, of whom Thapan died. While four are in judicial custody, the fifth accused arrested earlier this week is in police custody.

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Published 22 May 2024, 16:38 IST

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