He was allegedly involved in the murder of a US woman Danielle Mehlman. His subsequent suicide could have made it an open and shut case, but for the contradictory statements by Pawan's family members.
In spite of the suicide note, the content of which is not revealed, the family is not ready to buy the suicide theory. They are also pointing fingers at the employer, Cognizant and accused them of not doing enough to bring back the body soon. [Latest news: Pawan's kin threaten protests against Cognizant]
In the wake of such accusatory statements, Cognizant has made its stand clear through a press release that reads -
"Pawan Kumar's family members, along with two lawyers, met our HR officials on Friday evening. Our HR officials reminded them that unfortunately no further action can be taken in bringing Pawan Kumar's body back unless and until the family signs and returns the forms required by the New Jersey Medical Examiner's office for release of the body. Cognizant has no influence on this requirement. Unfortunately, as of last evening, the family has decided not to sign the forms to allow the return of the body back to India.
Further, the family members and the lawyers accompanying them demanded that all reports from the U.S. should accompany Pawan Kumar's body, including the autopsy and inquest reports, as a precondition to signing the forms.
They also insisted that the company take ownership for obtaining details of Pawan Kumar's personal loans, a copy of the suicide note, bank balance details, among other things to which the company simply does not have the right to gain access. In addition, the family wanted Cognizant to sponsor a visit to the U.S. by two of Pawan Kumar's family members and advisors.
Even though we did reach out to many of the U.S. authorities concerned for the details requested by the family, we were not able to obtain the details due to the ongoing criminal investigation or personal privacy regulations.
While the Cognizant senior leadership teams in India and the U.S., along with the Indian consulate officials, have worked tirelessly, doing all that we and they can to facilitate bringing back the remains of Pawan Kumar to India, liaising with multiple agencies [including the Medical Examiner's Office, District Attorney, Indian Consulate in New York, Funeral Homes] believing that the most important thing the family wanted was the return of Pawan Kumar's body, we are surprised with the frequent demands that are made by the family, some as a precondition to allowing the return of Pawan Kumar's body.
While Cognizant is doing what it can to help the family members get what Pawan Kumar is entitled to given the circumstances of his death, we find many of the demands are simply not within our control.
Cognizant has done and is doing everything in our power to assist the family with the return of the body. We are still waiting for the family to sign the necessary paperwork so that we can facilitate the return of the body as quickly as possible at Cognizant's cost. We are working closely with the Indian Consulate in New York who have also been in touch with the family members."