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Tadvi suicide: HC bars 3 accused from doing Masters in Nair Hospital

By Kanchan Chaudhari
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2020 01:05 AM IST

The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday upheld a previous order that barred the three accused of abetting Dr Payal Tadvi’s suicide from continuing their postgraduate education at BYL Nair Hospital. However, the court revoked the suspension of Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal’s medical licences.

On Friday, special counsel for the state ,Raja Thakare, informed the court that after a meeting between the head of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology BYL Nair hospital, Dr Ganesh Shinde, and other doctors, paramedics, staff and students, it was decided that the presence of the three accused would disturb the atmosphere at the civic hospital campus and affect healthcare services. “This incident has created atmosphere of hostility against the accused and it has left many students, including witnesses, completely shattered,” said Thakare. Dr Shinde was present in court on Friday.

On Thursday, advocate Abad Ponda, who represented the accused, had said that since BYL Nair Hospital has three units of gynaecology and obstetrics, the accused could be reinstated in a different unit from their original allocation to prevent them from coming in contact with witnesses.

This was not considered a viable solution on Friday. “There are 127 witnesses in the case, most of whom are from the hospital and it is not possible to keep the witnesses in the case away from them,” Thakare told the court. He further added that allowing the trio to resume their education would send the wrong message, considering the gravity of the allegations against them.

Justice Sadhana Jadhav accepted the hospital’s submission and held up the conditions of the August 2019 order which granted Ahuja, Mehare and Khandelwal bail on condition that they do not enter the premises of BYL Nair Hospital. The 2019 order also suspended the trio’s medical licences for the duration of the trial. On Friday, the judge recalled this clause and revoked the suspension of the medical licences. “In fact, suspension of their licence was without jurisdiction,” said justice Jadhav.

While the authorities are awaiting the court order to figure out the question of what liberties the restored medical licences may grant Ahuja, Mehare and Khandelwal, the three will not be able to complete their postgraduate degrees for the duration of the trial. TP Lahane, director of the state Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), said, “Since the court has made it clear that they [the accused] will not be allowed to appear for exams, they will have to follow orders. They won’t be allowed to take admission in other colleges as well to continue their education.” Dr Tadvi, a second-year, postgraduate student of BYL Nair Hospital and Topiwala National Medical College, committed suicide on May 22, 2019. On May 29, the police arrested Ahuja, Mehare and Khandelwal, charging them under sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC and section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

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