Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has said it will pass its order on Friday on an appeal filed by three senior women doctors, accused of abetting the suicide of their junior colleague Payal Tadvi, seeking permission to complete their post graduation at the civic-run BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai.
In August last year, while granting bail to the three doctors, Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Meher and Ankita Khandelwal, the high court directed them to not enter the BYL Nair Hospital, where Tadvi committed suicide in her hostel room.
The court had also suspended the medical license of the three accused till the end of trial in the case. Aabad Ponda, the counsel for the three accused, told a single bench of Justice Sadhana Jadhav on Thursday that the three doctors have to complete their final year of post-graduation in gynaecology, hence they need permission to enter the hospital.
Special public prosecutor Raja Thakare opposed the appeal, saying several case witnesses were still working in the hospital.
Ponda said the court could direct the hospital to transfer the three doctors to another unit of the hospital's gynaecology department so that they do not interact with the witnesses.
Justice Jadhav noted that while the court was aware of the seriousness of the case, it would also not be correct to stop someone's education.
"It is true that the victim has lost her life and right to education, but at the same time we cannot stop the accused persons from pursuing their education," she said. "Our society is not the one to go for 'an eye for an eye'. They (accused) should also not face harassment," the court noted.
The bench, however, asked if it would be right for the accused persons to go back to the same college. "The social impact of this case was so much... similarly we don't even want the accused to also face wrath. No one at the hospital is going to welcome them with open arms. They will face some reaction from the hospital staff," Justice Jadhav said.
The court said it was also concerned about the fact that the three accused doctors "lacked sensitivity", which led to the incident of their junior committing suicide. "If they are going to be medical practitioners, then they need to be sensitive...not just towards patients but also towards their juniors and other hospital staff," Justice Jadhav said.
The judge directed the hospital's gynaecology department head to remain present in the court on Friday, to say if the accused persons can be transferred to another unit. Payal Tadvi, a second-year postgraduate medical student attached to BYL Nair Hospital, committed suicide in her hostel room in the hospital premises on 22 May, 2019. In her suicide note, Tadvi held the three senior women doctors responsible for harassing her.
On 29 May, 2019, the police arrested the three accused, all third-year postgraduate students from the same hospital, for allegedly making casteist slurs and abetting Tadvi's suicide.
The victim's family alleged that the accused ragged Tadvi and hurled casteist abuses at her, forcing her to take her life.
The three accused have been booked under IPC Sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 201 (destruction of evidence ), and provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
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Updated Date: Feb 20, 2020 15:45:21 IST