Payal Tadvi case: Nair Hospital HoD summoned to check if accused can complete Masters
The Bombay high court on Thursday summoned the head of department (HoD) of the gynaecology and obstetrics department at the BYL Nair Hospital to ascertain if the three accused arrested for allegedly driving Dr. Payal Tadvi to commit suicide can be allowed to complete their Masters course in gynaecology and obstetrics.
Justice Sadhana Jadhav has asked the HoD to remain present in court on Friday afternoon when the court is likely to pass an order on the plea filed by the three accused - Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Meher and Ankita Khandelwal - seeking modification of the August 9, 2019 order by which Justice Jadhav has granted bail to the trio.
They have sought modification of the order so as to complete their post-graduate course in gynaecology and obstetrics. While granting bail to them, the court has restrained them from entering the jurisdiction of the Agripada police station, where the offence has been registered against them for allegedly driving Dr. Payal Tadvi to commit suicide, more particularly the Topiwala National Medical College affiliated to Nair Hospital.
During the course of hearing, the judge indicated that she was inclined to allow the three accused to complete their post-graduate medical courses.
“It is true that the victim has lost her life, but we cannot stop their (accused) education. The trial court will decide their fate. They cannot be victimized because in our society we do not go by an eye for an eye,” the court observed.
The special public prosecutor objected to the plea saying the concern was that all the witnesses would be there, at Nair Hospital and most of them will be subordinate to the accused women.
Senior advocate Abad Ponda, who represented the accused, said there are three units of gynaecology and obstetrics in Nair Hospital and the problem of the accused possibly coming in contact with the witnesses can be resolved if the three women were shifted to some other unit - other than their parent unit, where most of the witnesses in the case are posted.
The court has summoned the HoD to ascertain if such an arrangement can be made.
Dr. Payal Tadvi, a second-year post-graduate student of the Topiwala National Medical College committed suicide on May 22, 2019 inside her hostel room in the hospital premises.
Tadvi in her suicide note held three senior women doctors responsible for her condition and for harassing her over her caste and the fact that she had secured admission for the post-graduate course through quota earmarked for her category.
On May 29, 2019, the police arrested Ahuja, Mehar and Khandelwal - for allegedly making casteist slurs and driving Dr. Tadvi to end her life. The three accused have been booked under Sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3(2) (v) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.