The high court also directed the special court to complete the trial within a period of ten months.
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday refused permission to three women doctors accused of abetting the suicide of their junior colleague Payal Tadvi to complete their post graduation at BYL Nair Hospital. Justice Sadhana Jadhav noted that the three doctors — Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal — are graduates and can pursue post graduation after trial in the case is complete.
The high court also directed the special court to complete the trial within a period of ten months. The court was on Friday informed by special public prosecutor Raja Thakare and head of Nair Hospital gynaecology department Ganesh Shinde that the staff and other junior doctors are sceptical and not comfortable with the return of the three doctors to the hospital.
“There is hostility. Today if 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,” Mr Thakare said.
Replying to a suggestion made by the accused doctors’ counsel Aabad Ponda that the trio could be shifted to another unit of the gynaecology department, Mr Thakare said it would not be possible, as the staff, who are important witnesses in the case, are the same across all units.
Justice Jadhav accepted this statement and said permission to enter the Nair hospital premises to complete post graduation course cannot be granted and disposed of the trio’s petition. The high court had, in August 2019, while granting bail to the three doctors, directed them to not enter the civic-run BYL Nair hospital where the incident took place and had also suspended their medical licence till the end of the trial.
Payal Tadvi, a second-year postgraduate medical student attached to BYL Nair Hospital, had committed suicide on May 22, 2019 inside her hostel room in the hospital premises. Tadvi in her suicide note held the three senior women doctors responsible for her condition and for harassing her. On May 29, 2019, the police arrested the three under IPC sections 306 (abetment to suicide) and 201 (destruction of evidence) and provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.