VJ Chitra, the late TV presenter and actor, was driven to suicide by her husband Hemnath by character assassination, the Central Crime Branch (CCB), which has taken over the investigation told the Madras High Court in its first report on February 5.
Justice V Bharathidasan was hearing the bail application of Hemnath, Chitra’s husband. Hemnath was arrested by the Nazrethpettai Police on charges of abetment to suicide on December 14, 2020.
“The Nazrethpettai Police report had submitted a report that confirmed death by suicide and hanging. Later the CCB, after further investigation, took a third opinion from Dr Selvakumar, who performed post mortem. It is again confirmed that it is a case of suicide by hanging,” Additional Public Prosecutor Prabhavathy told Silverscreen India.
She said that reports on nail clippings and telephonic voice analysis are awaited from the forensic department.
“The CCB, in its report has examined 37 witnesses and also reexamined them. In addition, seven witnesses have been investigated. The CCB report also states that Hemanth drove Chitra to suicide due to character assassination, asking her not to talk closely with other artists while acting in serials,” Prabhavathy said.
On December 9, 2020 Chitra was found hanging from a ceiling fan in the bathroom of a hotel at Nazrethpettai, in Chennai, where the couple was staying. Subsequently, Hemnath was arrested by the police on charges of abetment to suicide. He was booked under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code and lodged at Chennai’s Ponneri Jail. The couple got engaged in August 2020 and were supposed to marry in February 2021. The couple had a registered marriage in October 2020.
Following Chitra’s death, a mandatory probe was initiated by the Revenue Divisional Officer, who submitted a 16-page report after interrogating family and friends of Chitra and Hemnath. The probe ruled out harassment over dowry as a reason for the suicide. The case was later shifted to the CCB.
The post mortem report submitted earlier confirmed that there were only two injuries on Chitra’s body, one each on the cheek and chin. No other external or internal injuries were found. The doctors had said that that the injuries could be ligature marks from the silk saree she had worn.
Hemnath did not appear in the bail hearing on February 5 and was represented by his senior counsel.