MUMBAI: The police investigating the Dr Payal Tadvi suicide case said BYL Nair Hospital’s gynaecology department head and others may face “disciplinary action” for offence under the antiragging law. Special public prosecutor, Raja Thakare, made this submission after Justice Sadhana Jadhav raised questions about the probe into the abetment to suicide case registered against three of Dr Tadvi’s seniors. The HC also asked why the prosecution had not yet recorded the statements of key witnesses before a magistrate on oath. Thakare said steps would be taken to record statements of six doctors, who are witnesses, at the earliest. The HC directed that the chief metropolitan magistrate expedite recording of statements. Accused doctors Hema Ahuja, Ankita Khandelwal, and Bhakti Mehre have been in judicial custody for over two months. The police had filed the chargesheet against the trio for offences under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and section 306 of Indian Penal Code. After Tadvi ended her life on May 22, her family alleged the doctors had harassed her as she belonged to a scheduled tribe. The judge sought to know what action the police intended to take against gynaecology department head, Dr Yi Ching Ling, for allegedly not considering harassment complaints made by her husband Dr Salman Tadvi and mother Abeda Tadvi. The HC order recorded Thakare as saying, “The investigating officer was prima facie of the opinion that the responsible doctors would be liable for disciplinary action, regarding the conduct of Dr. Ching Ling not considering the complaint made by Tadvi…since it was pointed out there was no written complaint under the Act.” Thakare said, “Recommendation letter for departmental enquiry of Dr Ching Ling was also prepared by the IO, but not yet submitted to the civic chief.” Nair Hospital is a civic-run hospital. The HC is hearing an appeal by the three doctors against rejection of their bail plea. The HC hearing is being videographed as mandated by the SC/ST Act on a plea made by the Tadvis’ family lawyer Gunratan Sadavarte. Arguing for their bail, the accused trio’s counsel, Aabad Ponda, submitted they were “not responsible” for what happened, but were “deeply sorry” about the tragedy. The prosecutor made a plea for in-camera hearing, which was supported by the defence, but opposed by Sadavarte. The appeal hearing is on August 9, when the HC will also hear advocate general, Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, on the issue of videography of the proceedings.
Source