Tadvi, a postgraduate student of Mumbai’s T N Topiwala National Medical College, committed suicide by hanging herself in her hostel room at BYL Nair Hospital on May 22, last year.
The Bombay High Court on Friday refused permission to three resident doctors accused of abetting the suicide of their junior colleague Payal Tadvi to complete their postgraduation in gynaecology at B Y L Nair Hospital in Mumbai.
Justice Sadhana S Jadhav passed the order after Dr Ganesh Abaji Shinde, head of the gynaecology department of Nair hospital, opposed the entry of Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal to the hospital premises on the ground that it will “affect the fabric and atmosphere”, impacting health services. Justice Jadhav noted that the three doctors are graduates and can complete their postgraduation after trial in the case is complete.
On Thursday, senior counsel Aabad Ponda had sought relaxation of the bail conditions of the accused while submitting that they have to complete their final year of postgraduation and need permission to enter the hospital. Following this, while directing the gynaecology head of the hospital to remain present in the court, the HC had observed that the right to education of the accused cannot be taken away.
Tadvi, a postgraduate student of Mumbai’s T N Topiwala National Medical College, committed suicide by hanging herself in her hostel room at BYL Nair Hospital on May 22, last year. Tadvi, in her suicide note — found later from her cellphone — had accused the three senior doctors of harassing her and making casteist slurs. On August 9, last year, the HC had granted conditional bail to the accused. The conditions imposed included restrictions on entering Nair hospital and Topiwala college. Moreover, their medical licences were suspended until the conclusion of the trial.
Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare and Shinde informed the court on Friday that the hospital staff and other junior doctors, including the witnesses in the case, are not comfortable with the three accused returning to the hospital.
They all would be working together and, therefore, the remotest possibility of tampering with evidence could not be ruled out, Thakare argued. “There is hostility. If they are allowed to go back to the same college, then it will send a wrong message... and no matter that you do, you will face the heat. It will have wider ramifications as far as other hospitals are concerned,” he added.
Shinde told the court that after the dean of the hospital convened a meeting of staff members and witnesses in the case, it was concluded that allowing the accused to enter the hospital will impact patients and health services.
The bench, meanwhile, recalled the bail condition imposed on the accused, wherein their medical licenses were suspended. It noted that it was not right to have suspended their medical licences as this court did not have the jurisdiction to do so while hearing a bail plea. The court added that the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has initiated inquiry into the issue and shall take appropriate decision on suspension of their licences. Moreover, replying to plea by Hema Ahuja, the court granted her liberty to register with MMC.
The said the accused can leave Mumbai to visit their homes with its permission and need not visit the IO every alternate day.