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UK Indian docs campaign for colleague

The campaign would appeal against the conviction of their colleague who they say has been wrongly convicted of assaulting a woman patient.

india Updated: Jan 16, 2007 12:49 IST

Doctors of Indian origin in Britain have launched a campaign to appeal against the conviction of one of their colleagues who they believe has been wrongly convicted of indecently assaulting a woman patient and is currently in jail.

The campaign has been supported by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO), the apex body of doctors of Indian origin working in the National Health Service (NHS). The doctor convicted is Amit Yadav, 28, hailing from Uttar Pradesh and who studied medicine from the Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad. He came to the UK in August 2004, and secured employment at the Scarborough Hospital.

The incident that led to his conviction occurred on Oct 23, 2005. He was convicted of indecent assault in the York Crown Court on 4 December, 2006. He is currently in jail in Hull, serving a two-year prison sentence.

"We believe there has been a miscarriage of justice in the case of this doctor who is in jail", Raman Lakshman, vice-chair, Policy, BAPIO, said. The organisation is supporting Yadav's case and the campaign to raise funds to appeal against the conviction.

Yadav's friends and colleagues have launched the campaign on the website: http://appealforamit.moonfruit.com . Based on information available and Yadav's background, the BAPIO says it "is concerned that this may be an unsafe conviction and he may be innocent".

The case involves Yadav examining a woman patient in Accident and Emergency where she had come on Oct 23, 2005 with injuries due to domestic violence. She later made an allegation against Yadav of conducting inappropriate examination.

According to BAPIO, Yadav examined her and advised analgesics for her injuries. As he had completed his shift and was about to leave, a nurse called him saying the female patient was alleging that he had carried out an internal examination on her.

There were no eyewitnesses and Yadav was stunned by the allegation. He was arrested by the police and detained at a police station for over 12 hours. He was interviewed by the police during this period and then released on unconditional bail.

Subsequently, further conditions were applied and his movements were heavily restricted. He was suspended from his job and later dismissed. It was a year before the case came before the jury.

Yadav was represented by the Medical Defence Union, but the jury returned a guilty verdict at the end of the trial. He has now started a two-year jail term and his name has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

BAPIO believes that he will almost certainly lose his General Medical Council registration and his career as a doctor is all but finished.

According to Lakshman, "The overwhelming evidence provided by all individuals who know Yadav appears to be that such behaviour would be wholly out of character for him.

"We are told that he is a deeply religious individual and well liked by all the nurses and doctors in the A and E department and that his behaviour was always professional and impeccable. We are told that he is humble and caring.

"The conviction appears to have rested on forensic evidence which appears highly questionable. Besides, the patient was facing certain very serious personal issues and she is likely to have been in a very difficult emotional state at the time.

"From the evidence that BAPIO has seen, it is terribly hard to believe that this doctor could be guilty. If he is innocent, such an incident could happen to any one of us, regardless of where we come from.

"We expect that the wider medical fraternity will come forward to support this doctor in his fight for justice to clear his name and survive in the profession".