Maharashtra government has transferred the case of alleged suicide of Tata Steel’s former head of corporate communications, Charudatta Deshpande to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Deshpande, 57, a former journalist and Tata Steel’s former chief of corporate communications, was found hanging at his Vasai home on June 28 last year.
Though, no suicide note was found from the house, his friends and former colleagues alleged that he was harassed by the employees of Tata Steel.
A case was registered at Vasai police station. Vasai police and Mumbai Crime Branch conducted joint investigations into the death, though no breakthrough was achieved. “The case has now been transferred to the CBI,” an official at the Home Department said.
Mumbai Press Club, in a statement said, “Acceding to requests, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil on Thursday transferred the probe into Deshpande’s suicide to the CBI.”
The release claimed, “Both the family members of Charu as well as the Mumbai Press Club had earlier given separate letters to the Home Minister stating that the investigation into charges of abetment against Tata Steel officers had run aground and were deliberately not being pursued by the Thane Rural Police.”
In a series of interactions between a Press Club delegation and the Home Minister over Wednesday and Thursday, it was pointed out to the latter that the Thane Rural Police had failed to take Prabhat Sharma, whom the Press Club delegation described as prime suspect, into custody for interrogation. “Thane Police were neither aware of the internal inquiry of Tata Steel into the death of Charu nor did they make attempts to access it after being told of the report’s existence. This pointed to the shoddy police investigation,” the club claimed.
The Press Club also presented the Home Minister with the provisional findings of the psychological autopsy report that said “it was not clinical or other forms of depression but months of harassment and mental torture that led Charu to take his own life”.
In a separate and recent development, the Tata Steel board has made an offer of monetary compensation to Charu’s wife Nivedita Deshpande, and the members of the family are considering the offer, the club claimed.