Maharashtra surgeon held for patient’s ‘unnecessary’ examination gets bail
Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court on Thursday granted bail to a surgeon from Maharashtra’s Akola, who was earlier booked and arrested for alleged rape and sodomy while conducting ‘unnecessary’ clinical examination of a patient.
Police in Akola booked the doctor for outraging modesty, rape and unnatural offence following a complaint lodged by the patient. The 33-year-old woman, a resident of Khamgaon tehsil of Buldhana district, alleged that she had been to the doctor for treatment for severe abdominal pain for the past two years.
She said she had got a sonography done on the advice of the doctor and visited him at the hospital on November 3 with the report. She claims the doctor inserted his finger in her private parts and also touched her inappropriately.
Offended, as she felt the examination to be unnecessary, the patient said she slapped the doctor and rushed out of his check up room. She first reported the matter to her mother and then approached the police. Police registered an offence on the basis of her complaint and immediately placed the doctor under arrest.
The surgeon then approached the high court claiming that a surgery was required to be conducted on the patient and for that purpose a thorough clinical examination was necessary. He claimed that the case falls within exception 1 to Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, which lays down that a medical procedure or intervention shall not constitute rape.
In support of his contention, the doctor had also submitted an expert report stating that in some instances of lower abdominal pain, the surgeon has to consider an ovarian mass before anything else and to rule out conditions of swelling in fallopian tube and ovary, ovarian tumor and cyst, a vaginal examination is necessary.
In view of his claim, justice Pushpa Ganediwala had called for a report from a panel of experts from the Government Medical College, Nagpur and granted bail to the surgeon following the submission of the panel’s report.
The expert panel stated that examination of private parts of female patient having chronic abdominal pain is “a part of complete clinical evaluation in medical practice” and in a given case, “the doctor may decide to examine other systems or body parts, including breasts to arrive at a diagnosis.”
In view of the report, justice Ganediwala ordered the surgeon to be released on personal bond of Rs 50,000, with one surety in the same amount.
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