HC allows gynaecologist accused of illegal abortions to resume practiceUpdated: Jul 08, 2020 01:16 IST
The Bombay high court (HC) on Friday allowed a gynecologist booked for performing illegal abortions and convicted under provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, to resume medical practice. The gynaecologist, Dr Suhas Jadhavar had moved HC challenging an order dated June 18 passed by the additional sessions judge, Pandharpur, refusing to relax a bail condition prohibiting him from practicing medicine till completion of his trial.
Dr Jadhavar and his wife Dr Ashwini, also a gynecologist, have been booked by Sangola police in Solapur district in February 2018 for performing illegal abortions.
On June 4, 2018, HC granted bail to Dr Ashwini on the condition that she will not practice medicine until the conclusion of the trial.
A fortnight later, the Pandharpur sessions court granted bail to Dr Jadhavar on the same condition.
Last year, Dr Ashwini moved HC seeking relaxation of the condition, and on February 20, 2020, HC allowed her to resume practice.
Dr Jadhavar then moved the sessions court seeking a similar relaxation for himself on the ground of parity, but the sessions court rejected his plea, prompting him to move HC.
His lawyer, advocate Vishwanath Talkute, submitted that on the ground of parity, the petitioner doctor was entitled to the same relief as was granted to his wife and a co-accused in the case, but it was refused only on the ground that Dr Jadhavar has been convicted in a separate case under the PCPNDT Act – the legislation that prohibits the use of modern techniques for sex-selective abortions.
Assistant public prosecutor RM Pethe had opposed the plea, saying that the doctor was rightly refused the relief in view of his conviction.
Justice CV Bhadang, however, felt that the gynecologist should not have been denied the same relief as that granted to the co-accused in the case.
The judge felt that the conviction under the PCPNDT Act was an extraneous consideration. “The consideration in my view has to be principally confined to the present case,” said the judge.
“Once the said condition has been relaxed in respect of the co-accused, and where the reasons for such relaxation, namely that the co-accused Dr Ashwini Jadhavar has abided by the said condition and that there is no likelihood of the trial coming to end in the near future [which apply equally to the case of the petitioner], the parity cannot be refused,” the court added.