Payal Tadvi case: Accused doctors can pursue education after trial, says HC

Accepting the contention of the BYL Nair Hospital that its staff and other junior doctors are “uncomfortable” with the return of the three senior doctors, accused of abetting the suicide of their colleague Payal Tadvi, the Bombay High Court on Friday refused to allow the trio to complete the post-graduation in the hospital. The HC, accordingly, disposed of the petitions filed by the trio seeking ‘protection of their right to education.’

A bench of Justice Sadhana Jadhav, while disposing of the pleas filed by Ankita Khandelwal, Hema Ahuja and Bhakti Mehare, who are also booked under charges of ragging, noted that they are already graduates and can complete the post-graduation after the conclusion of the trial in the case.

The trio approached the bench of Justice Jadhav seeking to relax the conditions, she had imposed last year while granting them bail. In their plea through senior counsel Abad Ponda, the accused doctors had sought permission to enter the Nair hospital so that they can pursue their post-graduation studies.

Also Read: Payal Tadvi suicide case: Bombay HC grants bail to three doctors accused of abetting suicide

However, senior counsel Raja Thakre appearing as special prosecutor opposed the request arguing that the court will have to consider that all the witnesses in the case are working in the same college.

When the matter was called on for hearing on Friday, Ganesh Shinde, the head of the department, gynaecology, who was present in the courtroom, told the bench that the staff and other junior doctors are sceptical and uncomfortable with the return of the three doctors to the hospital.

“There is hostility (in the hospital). If these accused doctors are allowed to go back to the same college, then a wrong message will be sent that no matter what you do, you will face the heat only for a few months,” prosecutor Thakare argued.

In his submissions, Thakare further argued that since the staff, who are important witnesses in the case, are the same across all units, the trio cannot be shifted or transferred to any other department from the gynaecology unit.

Justice Jadhav accepted this statement and said permission to enter the Nair hospital premises to complete post-graduation course cannot be granted and accordingly, disposed of the trio’s petition.

Also Read: Payal Tadvi suicide case: HoD rules out ragging, says trio were diligent in work

Prosecutor Raja Thakare to give up case

After being recently appointed as a senior counsel in the Bombay High Court, advocate Raja Thakare who was special public prosecutor in the Payal Tadvi suicide case, will no longer be handling the matter in the trial court. On Friday, the special court handling cases relating to atrocities on scheduled castes and schedules tribes was informed by the investigating officer in the case about the development.

Thakare said that apart from Tadvi case, he will not be appearing as a special public prosecutor in cases against gangster Arun Gawli under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act . Thakare, along with other prosecutors also appeared for the state in the Nalasopara arms haul case, another case he will not be handling anymore. The senior lawyer has handled big cases like journalist J-Dey murder case, Harshad Mehta scam and techie Esther Anuhya murder case.