The Bombay High Court today ordered the Crime Branch of the Goa Police to conduct a radiological examination of the body of a Christian priest-turned-activist to ascertain the cause of his death, more than two years after he was found dead under mysterious circumstances.
Hearing a plea of family members of deceased Fr Bismarque Dias who had challenged the decision of the Crime Branch to close the case, a division bench of justices N M Jamdar and Prithviraj Chavan directed that the radiological examination be conducted on the remains of Dias (51) and a report submitted on April 20.
The closure report of the Crime Branch before a lower court had stated that it was an accidental death.
Dias remains are being preserved at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) as his kin had refused to bury him on suspicion of a foul play behind his death.
A two-member panel of doctors from the GMCH had suggested a radiological examination of the corpse to ascertain the exact cause of death as an autopsy was not a feasible option at this stage given that the corpse was kept in the morgue for quite some time.
The body of Dias, a resident of St Estevam near Panaji, was found floating in a river near a sluice gate in his village on November 7, 2015.
During the hearing today, the high court questioned the need for preserving the body.
“Why not to do the funeral? What is the point in keeping the body?” the bench asked.
“We appreciate your anxiety but respect the deceased,” the judges said.
A lawyer representing the Dias family said they wanted to preserve the body to ascertain the exact cause of death.