Royal Caribbean "Dowry Death" Case Update

The sad case of Neha Chhikara who jumped from the Royal Caribbean cruise on December 31, 2009 continues to receive widespread attention in India.  Her friends have expressed condolences to the Chhikara family for her untimely death.   

Newspapers in India are now reporting that the family of the accused crew member Ankit Dalal has responded to the charges.  In an article "Accused In-Laws Speak Out," the HinduTimes states that Mr. Dalal's father, Dr. Satyavir Dalal, released a statement stating that his daughter-in-law was depressed and took anti-depressant medications.  He suggested that this may have led her to suicide. 

Dr. Dalal is the chief medical officer for the Gurgaon Civil Hospital.  His statement raises issues whether there is a confidentiality privilege in India for medical information of this type.

The Indian newspapers are suggesting that an investigation may be underway in the Bahamas (which is the law of the flag, and the incident may have occurred in Bahamian waters).   

It is also reported that Ms. Chhikara (a former "air hostess" for Indigo airlines) came to the U.S. in mid December.  She had been accepted to work as a crew member aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.  At the time of the incident, she had apparently not yet begun to work and her status was technically that as a "passenger."