Payal Tadvi Suicide: Autopsy Report States ‘Evidence Of Ligature Mark Over Neck’; Chats Show She Was Suffering Torture

The probe in Dr Payal Tadvi’s suicide was transferred to the Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police on Thursday. Tadvi was a postgraduate medical student at a Mumbai hospital, who ended her life after she was allegedly harassed by her seniors.

Tadvi’s autopsy had found “evidence of ligature mark over (her) neck”, which was deduced as the “provisional cause of death”.

Even as the outrage and demand for justice for Tadvi continues, the anti-ragging committee of the TN Topiwala National Medical College in Mumbai has found that Payal faced “extreme harassment” from three senior colleagues — Bhakti Mehre, Ankita Khandelwal and Hema Ahuja — for several days before she took her life on 22 May. The three women were arrested by the Mumbai Police on Wednesday and sent to police custody till 31 May as the police are trying to find out their involvement in tampering/damaging Tadvi’s suicide note and retrieve their phone records while also probing the angle of murder. They have sought two-week police custody of the accused who were produced before a special court in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Deepak Kundal, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Agripada, who is investigating the case, told the court the police need to find out if there was any suicide note in the case, India Today reported. The accused, meanwhile, have been booked under relevant provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the Anti-Ragging Act, the IT Act and Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC.

According to the college’s report, Tadvi was admonished by the accused in the presence of other staff and patients on 22 May and was seen crying. Her husband had, earlier, filed a verbal complaint with the head of the gynaecology department in the medical college, Yi Ching Ling, citing the harassment being faced by her. However, after the complaint was filed, the accused didn’t speak to Tadvi for two days, but thereafter she faced “extreme harassment”, casteist remarks and was unfairly admonished several times, the report says.

The report relies on statements of 30 people including Payal’s family, colleagues, and staff, as per a report by The News Minute. According to The Indian Express the seniors even threatened Payal, saying they will make sure that she does not graduate to the third year, her family has claimed.

The victim’s husband, Salman told The Indian Express, that the three accused seniors ensured that his wife would perform only minor work. “First-year students who joined on 1 May were asked to assist in deliveries but Payal, despite being in the second year, was not allowed to work,” he alleged. He also said that he did not mention the issue of caste discrimination in his verbal complaint as he was worried about the career of the seniors.

Salman told the anti-ragging committee that Tadvi assisted in two deliveries on the day she took her life. She was apparently “scolded” over her handling of procedures. Tadvi is believed to have taken her life between 4.30 pm and 7.30 pm on 22 May.

She had told her husband that the harassment began in December 2018, six months after she started her post-graduation at the BYL Nair Hospital, but he told her to ignore the harassers and study. Meanwhile, Tadvi’s parents, Abeda and Salim, also accused Tadvi’s seniors of allegedly subjected her to humiliation with casteist slurs and denial of opportunities. Abeda told The Hindu that the seniors would go to the toilet and then wipe their feet on Tadvi’s mattress and litter it when she was made to share the room with them at the beginning. She said that her daughter cried every day due to the torture she was facing.

In the days leading to her death, Tadvi’s family alleged that she also heard the three seniors saying things like “these caste people don’t know anything” and that Tadvi had gotten admission through quota.

Transcripts of chats between Tadvi and a friend, accessed by the Mumbai Mirror reveal that the post-graduate student had considered changing her unit to escape what she described as “unbearable torture” by her seniors. Tadvi, as early as November 2018, told her friend that her seniors were preventing her from learning, leaving her far behind her batchmates, adding that the seniors use foul language to target her. She even told her friend that she has asked her parents to keep Rs 20 lakh ready – the money she would have to pay the state government for quitting her quota PG seat.

In one chat with her mother, Tadvi urged her to not bring up the caste issue as not many at her workplace, she says, know that she belongs to a backward class — in response to her mother offering to speak to the senior hospital staff on her behalf.

Meanwhile, the accused on Tuesday wrote a letter to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) — which has suspended them — for a “fair probe” and “justice”. “This is not the way to do an investigation through police force and media pressure, without hearing our side,” the three doctors said in their letter to the association.

On Wednesday, the three doctors told the court that soon after the incident they had met the dean of Nair hospital, who had advised them to go to the police and cooperate with them. They said in court that they had met the police but were told that their statements were not needed.

Advocate Abad Ponda, appearing for the two of the accused, argued that it is because of immense pressure from different entities that this case has been hyped to such a level. He said that the accused had approached the court for an anticipatory bail application but police searched offices of advocates and picked up the accused from the court before their anticipatory bail application could be heard, the India Today report states.

“If some people don’t perform their duties then it could lead to loss of lives so the accused had spoken about complaining to the teachers about not just doctor Payal Tadvi but others too. Others did not commit suicide,” Ponda said. The defense lawyer further said that a family dispute could also be the reason for Payal’s extreme step as the deceased and her husband were living separately despite being in the same city, the report says.

Following Payal’s death, several activists, students and party members of Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi had been protesting at the hospital seeking justice, An online campaign with #JusticeForPayal was also started on Twitter.

Meanwhile, The National Commission for Women has written to the director of the hospital, requesting an investigation and to inform the commission of action taken, ANI reported. The state women’s commission has also served a notice to the hospital, demanding a reply from the authorities within eight days.

Robert Vadra Visits ED Office For Round 12 Questioning

Robert Vadra reached the Enforcement Directorate office on Thursday morning for yet another round of interrogation in a money laundering case. Before heading to the ED office, Vadra put out a Facebook post reaffirming his faith in the judiciary and claiming innocence.

“Till date, I have deposed 11 times with questioning of approximately 70 hours. In the future also, I will cooperate as always, till my name is cleared of all false allegations and accusations,” Robert Vadra said in a Facebook post uploaded sometime before he left home.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has lately been accompanying Robert Vadra to the ED office to send a message to the government that she had her husband’s back, dropped him off today also.

In the past, Vadra has described corruption cases filed against him as political vendetta, insisting that the ruling BJP-led national coalition often used the cases against him to divert attention from inconvenient issues and controversies. His lawyers say that if the central probe agency could not find any evidence against him after 70 hours of grilling, it means that they really don’t have a case.

During his election campaign, PM Modi often alluded to cases against Vadra and others promising to send them to jail in his second term.

Robert Vadra’s 12th round of questioning started hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sworn-in for his second innings.

The ED has already asked the high court to cancel the anticipatory bail granted to him by a subordinate court so that it can arrest and question him in the case pertaining to alleged money laundering in the purchase of a London-based property worth 1.9 million pounds.

“From the investigation conducted so far, it is revealed that he is involved in the commission of the offence of cross border and domestic money laundering. He is the beneficial owner of various properties under the investigation in the case, which have been acquired through the proceeds of crime,” the agency said in its petition.

The high court will take up this request in a fortnight or so.

An application by Robert Vadra to seek permission to travel to London for medical reasons is also pending before a Delhi court.

Congress Won’t Participate In TV Debates For A Month, In Crisis After Election Defeat

The Congress party has announced that it won’t participate in TV debates for over a month, amidst a huge internal crisis after Rahul Gandhi refused to continue as its chief following the poll results.

“The Congress has decided to not send spokespersons on television debates for a month,” the party’s spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet on Thursday.

“All media channels/editors are requested to not place Congress representatives on their shows,” he added.

The tweet, to many, reflected the deep churning within the grand old party stunned by the scale of its defeat in the national election and its sharp decline across the country.

Congress leaders say the gag is meant to give the party time to sort out its mess and understand what went wrong, away from constant media speculation. Also, the party doesn’t want to be seen criticizing the BJP or Narendra Modi in debates, say sources.

The Congress was wiped out in 18 states and union territories and couldn’t win even in the states it won in December – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.On the other hand, the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi won 303 seats to win an incredible back-to-back majority, a feat previously achieved only by Congress icons like Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi.

The worst cut of all was Rahul Gandhi’s defeat in his traditional Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, where he had effortlessly won since 2004, when he debuted in politics.

If the Congress president had not contested from Kerala’s Wayanad and won, he would not have been in parliament. The party, with 52 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, does not even qualify for the post of Leader of Opposition, for which 55 seats is the prerequisite.

On Saturday, at a post-mortem of the party’s decimation, Rahul Gandhi announced his decision to quit and the Congress Working Committee, the party’s top decision-making body, rejected it.

The familiar ritual after every Congress election debacle did not follow the script this time; Rahul Gandhi has refused to change his mind about quitting and has not met any leader since Saturday apart from his mother Sonia Gandhi and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

The 48- year old reportedly asked the party to look for a new chief, a non- Gandhi. The Congress is debating ways of weathering this crisis – one option would be to have Rahul Gandhi lead the party in parliament.

A day after the national election result on May 23, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav had also said that no channel should invite any of its leaders for debates.

Gold Prices Go Up, Bond Rallies With Dollar Hovering Two- Year High

Gold prices went down on Thursday as bonds rallied and dollar flourished almost a two-year high, negating the support from an increasingly bitter Sino-U.S. trade dispute that rekindled doubts about global economic growth.

Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,277.71 per ounce, as of 0312 GMT. U.S. gold futures edged 0.3% lower to $1,276.70 an ounce.

“Investors look like they prefer U.S Treasuries as a safe haven for now, evident by the inverted U.S yield curve,” Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank, said.

“A strong dollar is also likely impeding big players such as China and India from consuming too much (of gold).”

The dollar held steady against its key rivals on Thursday as escalating Sino-U.S. trade tensions forced investors into the shelter of safe-haven assets, including government bonds.

Against a basket of six major currencies, the dollar was steady at 98.123, hovering within the reach of a two-year high of 98.371 hit a week ago. The index is up more than 2% for the year.

Asian stocks tracked Wall Street losses on Thursday as latest exchanges between Beijing and Washington signalled the heightened risk of a prolonged trade war.

Provoking trade disputes is “naked economic terrorism”, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Thursday, ramping up the rhetoric against the United States amid a bitter trade war that is not showing any signs of ending soon.

“Gold is still trading bullishly on the medium-term technicals, although there is a perceived loss of momentum,” said Nicholas Frappell, global general manager at ABC Bullion.

“With bond yields so low and weakening equity markets, gold could find support. As far as the price remains above $1,265-$1,270, gold will rally back to $1,306 and $1,316 levels.”

Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.5% to 740.86 tonnes on Wednesday.

Despite Wednesday’s rise, SPDR gold holdings are down over 6% so far this year.

Gold ETF holdings have remained muted in spite of the escalation in Sino-U.S. tensions, suggesting that investors are looking at alternative sources of portfolio hedge, OCBC’s Lee said.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.7% to $14.32 per ounce. The metal had dropped to $14.25 on Tuesday, its lowest since early December.

Platinum dipped 0.2% to $790 per ounce, after earlier falling to its lowest since Feb. 15 at $785.50. Palladium dropped 0.9% to $1,336.95 per ounce.

Hero FinCorp Looking Up To Buy Reliance General Insurance

The retail lending arm of Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Hero FinCorp is in talks to buy Reliance General Insurance (RGI) owned by Reliance Capital at ₹5,500- 6,000 crore vlauation. This comes as Anil Ambani continues to deleverage his group balance sheet.

This is part of Reliance Capital’s efforts to reduce its Rs 18,000 crore debt. With the sale proceeds of general insurance and mutual fund businesses, it expects to bring down debt to Rs 9,000 crore. Reliance General Insurance is a 100% owned subsidiary of Reliance Capital.

Reliance Capital did not comment on the story.

“The quality of our general insurance business is top class, and we are presently in exclusive discussions covered by a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with a strategic buyer, and cannot comment further,” Reliance Capital chairman Anil Ambani had said in an interview to ET earlier this week.


Even though Reliance was initially looking at divesting a 49% stake in the business, the talks are now focussed on a total sale. But it is not clear if Ambani would keep a small minority stake and stay on as a junior partner.

The due diligence process is ongoing, added the people mentioned above. The strategic sale may also gain precedence over IPO plans. Reliance General Insurance had filed for a share sale in February after the deadline for its previous IPO plan lapsed.

Hero FinCorp, which has ChrysCapital as one of its financial backers, has parallelly initiated a fund-raising exercise by mandating Credit Suisse.

The company said it does not want to comment on market speculation.

Hero had unsuccessfully tried to tie up with Ergo for a life insurance company licence. Last year, Hero Enterprise entered insurance broking business to sell life and general insurance products and distribute products to their manufacturing and automobile segment.

Hero has been scouting for opportunities across the financial services sector for growth. Recently, Blackstone pipped it at the last minute to acquire Aadhar Housing from the Wadhawan Group. Hero is also believed to be in discussions with Kishore Biyani for his stake in Future Generali and Max Bupa.

As on November 2018, Hero Fin-Corp had an asset under management of Rs 17,400 crore. It has capital adequacy of 18.3% till last year. Its portfolio grew at a CAGR of 64% during FY2015-18 with most of the expansion coming from segments outside the parent’s ecosystem. The company has expanded its portfolio from bill discounting and two-wheeler financing to include loan against property, small and medium enterprises financing, personal and used car loans. During FY18, the company reported a profit after tax of Rs 162.5 crore on a total asset base of Rs 13,747.6 crore.

Among the fastest growing NBFCs, Hero FinCorp is led by Abhimanyu Munjal, the younger son of late Raman Munjal, elder brother of Pawan Munjal. Abhimanyu’s elder brother Rahul Munjal runs Hero Renewable Energies Pvt. Ltd. These businesses are seen as the New Delhi-based group’s attempts to diversify into other fast-growing businesses to accommodate third generation family members in the group’s business. Incorporated in December 1991 as Hero Honda Fin-Lease Ltd, the Hero Group restructuring led to its present form. Currently it is present in close to 2,000 retail financing touch-points across Hero MotoCorp’s network.


Reliance Capital’s share price has fallen to Rs 130 from Rs 230 since January 1— a drop of 43% — due to crisis in the NBFC sector and company’s indebtedness. Two of its subsidiaries — Reliance Home Finance and Reliance Commercial Finance — have defaulted on debt obligations. Rating agencies have downgraded Reliance Capital citing delay in disinvestment, fructification of deal and depletion of liquidity. The NBFC sector is affected by IL&FS defaults and is facing liquidity crisis.

Last year, the company grew 22.31% to Rs 6,191 crore, faster than the market growth of 12.91%. The company has a market share of 3.64% in terms of gross written premium. It has reported profit of Rs 165 crore in 2017-18.

Gross written premium for FY18 stood at Rs 5,122 crore, up 28% from the previous year. RGI had over 130 branches and 29,600 agents as of March 2018. The insurer’s combined ratio — claims paid versus premiums collected — improved to 106% in the September quarter from 109% in the year earlier.


Private equity investors have been buying stakes in both life and health insurance businesses, seeking to take advantage of a potentially massive market in the world’s second-most populous country. Apart from that, the Indian government wants to ensure health cover for people belonging to economically weaker sections of the society who find it difficult to pay for the treatment they need.

Recently, True North bought 51% stake in Max Bupa. Safecrop Holdings—a consortium of WestBridge AIF, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Madison Capital — has acquired Star Health & Allied Insurance Co. Similarly, Warburg Pincus purchased a stake in IndiaFirst Life Insurance and ICICI Lombard General Insurance.

The general insurance industry has grown at 16-17% over the last 10 years and is attracting strategic as well as private equity investors. Many companies are open to the idea of merging or getting a new partner to achieve scale and grow further.

The general insurance arm of the company had filed for a share sale in February after the deadline for its previous Rs 1,500-2,000-crore IPO plan lapsed.

Cognizant Not To Cut Mass Jobs, Likely To Offer Freshers 20% More From Next Year

The American MNC Cognizant is considering to cut down its top- heavy pyramid but is not planning mass job cuts and has raised salaries for campus graduates next year by nearly 20%, said the company’s chief financial officer.

The Teaneck, New Jersey-headquartered company slashed its revenue growth guidance earlier this month and said it was looking at cutting jobs to reduce costs. The company now expects 2019 revenue to grow 3.9-4.9% in constant currency terms. It had previously forecast a growth of 7.0-9.0% for the year.

“Our pyramid is top-heavy. This does not mean there will be layoffs of thousands of people but there are quick actions that we can take,” Karen McLoughlin, chief financial officer at Cognizant, told analysts at a conference in New York.

Cognizant, whose headcount addition had outstripped revenue growth in the fourth and first quarters, will also pare hiring going forward to bring it in line with revenue growth. Even as the company is taking steps to cut costs, McLoughlin said it was also focused on bringing in skilled talent.

“We just announced this in India, for next year’s graduating class we are taking wages up 18% and will have industry-leading pay,” McLoughlin said. Fresher salaries have not increased substantially in over five years, even though companies are focused on paying more for niche skills from top universities.

She added that the company was also looking at its variable compensation procedures to offer existing employees an ‘upside.’ Under new CEO Brian Humphries who took over at the beginning of April, Cognizant will also look at ensuring it has a wider pool of clients. McLoughlin said about two-thirds of the company’s slashed revenue forecast could be attributed to five healthcare clients — four of whom were going through mergers, while the fifth was insourcing its IT spend.

“There is a need to broaden the portfolio of clients. We can’t be in a position where one or two clients blink and it hits the quarter,” McLoughlin said.

Mahindra To Spend ₹18k Crore By 2022, May Launch New XUV500, Thar, Scorpio

Although the Indian automobile market is witnessing a slowdown since past several months, Mahindra & Mahindra is optimistic that it is only a temporary phase. The company is positive about its

prospects in both farm equipment and passenger vehicle segments once the market makes a full recovery.

The company earlier earmarked an investment of Rs 15,000 to augment its operations in the next three years but has decided to increase it by 20%.  The company’s chief financial officer VS Parthasarathy stated that the investment is inline with the expectation of the country’s GDP growth which is pegged at 7%.

As per SIAM’s forecast, the passenger vehicle segment is expected to grow by 3-5% while the CV space is set to witness a growth of 10-12%. Mahindra is confident that it can outdo this forecast in both passenger and commercial vehicle segments. The company is also estimating a growth of 5% in the tractor industry.

Of the Rs 18,000 crore, around Rs 4,000 to 5,000 crore will be absorbed by the Chakan plan which is currently undergoing phase 2 development. The company’s largest manufacturing facility will receive an additional press line and paint shop which will have an annual capacity of 3 lakh units. The plant will also receive a new trim chassis final line.

Mahindra, the world’s largest tractor manufacturer, is also betting big on its tractor business. The company vows to invest more money in developing new tractors in the next three years than it did in the last five years.

As far as passenger vehicles are concerned, Mahindra’s prime focus this year will be to ensure smooth transition of its existing portfolio to BS-VI emission standards before the April 1, 2020 deadline. The next financial year will witness several product launch activities.

Mahindra is working on the next generation XUV500 codenamed W601. The C-segment SUV will be manufactured at Chakan alongside its badge engineered sibling for Ford. The all-new Scorpio and Thar have also started testing in public with significant styling changes. Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra & Mahindra, stated that the company is working aggressively on new product launches. We also expect a good portion of this massive investment to go into expanding the company’s electric vehicle business.

Oil Drops As Trade War Hit Crude Markets

Crude futures went down on Wednesday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit two- month lows along with the 10- Year Treasury yield falling to a 20- month low on concerns of further fallout to the global economy from the U.S.-China trade war. The CBOE Volatility Index proven to be a gauge of the fear factor in markets, hit a two-week high.

West Texas Inyermediate fututes the benchmark for U.S. crude, settled down 33 cents, or 0.6%, at $58.81 per barrel. It had fallen more than $1, or 3%, earlier in the day, striking an 11-week low at $56.90.

The August contract for UK- traded Brent futures, the global gauge for oil, was off 87 cents, or 1.3%, at $67.80 a barrel by 3:11 PM ET (19:11 GMT). It fell to $66.67 earlier in the day, its lowest since the week of March 24. The July contract was at $69.38 a barrel, down 1%.

Two months ago, WTI hit 2019 highs of $66.28 while Brent scaled this year’s peak of $75.60 on fears of a supply squeeze after President Donald Trump ended sanction waivers on Iranian oil exports while doubling down on the embargo on Venezuelan crude amid deep production cuts by OPEC.

But after gaining nearly 40% for the year through April, crude futures reversed course as the escalating trade war brought fear of a global recession that could severely curb oil demand.

Few now talk about OPEC production cuts that just weeks ago were a major price driver after the cartel’s dominant partner Saudi Arabia and top ally Russia ruled out raising oil output in the second half of the year. Even flooding in the U.S. Midwest this week that could put a further squeeze on summer crude needed by refiners did not seem to bother traders much.

In the place of tight supply is talk about Beijing preparing to limit the export of rare earth elements in its attempt to strike back at the U.S., a move that would escalate the conflict. The rare earth elements include a group of 17 chemical elements used in everything from high-tech consumer electronics to military equipment.

Adding to the trade war fears are worries about a more conciliatory tone toward Iran adopted by Trump this week. The Iran factor has basically provided the geopolitical premium for oil this year, along with sanctions on Venezuela.

For May, WTI is headed for a loss of nearly 11% and Brent 8%, though the U.S. benchmark remains up 26% on the year and its U.K. peer is 25% higher on the year.

Wednesday’s selloff came ahead of the American Petroleum Institute’s routine snapshot at 4:30 PM ET on what crude oil inventory numbers could be in data due from the Energy Information Administration on Thursday.

The market is expecting the EIA to report a 900,000-barrel drop in crude stockpiles for the week ended May 24, the last week before the May 27 Memorial Day holiday that usually sees heavy gasoline demand kicking off the peak U.S. summer driving season. In two prior weeks, crude inventories had unexpectedly jumped by around 5 million barrels, adding to the pressure on oil prices.

Some said the latest slump was also due to WTI contracts tripping below bearish markers like the 200-day moving average, resulting in selling that begets more sellling.

“I think the markets being below the 200-day MA has resulted in more selling from the CTA side,” said Scott Shelton, referring to the hedge funds classified as Commodity Trading Advisors. “They often sell for a few weeks once the trends change, which generates weaker markets on weak macro while bullish information is ignored.”

Patanjali Approaches PSU Bank To Avail Funds For Ruchi Soya Industries

The Indian consumer goods firm Patanjali Ayurveda has reached out to state- run banks to help fund its ₹4,350 crore acquisition of Ruchi Soya Industries, said people known to the matter.

The company is upto raising debt with a maturity of five years and above from State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank and Jammu & Kashmir Bank, they said.

The homegrown consumer goods company is tying up with the banks to raise more than Rs 3,700 crore while Rs 600 crore will be generated through internal accruals.

“The funding is in the final stages of negotiation and the interest rates will be finalised soon,” said one of the persons. “Patanjali had earlier approached several nonbanking channels but it backtracked after these investors sought high level of disclosures.”

Patanjali, SBI, PNB, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank and J&K Bank did not respond to queries.


Patanjali acquired Ruchi Soya in an insolvency auction held by lenders seeking to recover more than Rs 9,300 crore. Among financial creditors, SBI had the maximum exposure of Rs 1,800 crore, followed by Central Bank of India (Rs 816 crore) and PNB (Rs 743 crore).

Adani Wilmar, which emerged as the highest bidder in August last year after a longdrawn battle with Patanjali, had in December 2018 written to the resolution professional regarding significant delays in the insolvency process that led to the deterioration of Ruchi Soya’s assets.

Patanjali, the lone bidder in contention after the exit of Adani Wilmar, had in April increased its bid value by around Rs 200 crore to Rs 4,350 crore. This excluded a capital infusion of Rs 1,700 crore into the company.

With the acquisition of Ruchi Soya, Patanjali will become a key producer of soyabean oils and other products. The deal is expected to help Patanjali maintain its earlier growth momentum.