Doctors indicted for sexual misconduct deserve to be caught and barred: HC
New Delhi: Doctors, indicted for sexual misconduct, deserve to be caught and barred from practicing, the Delhi High Court said.
The high court made the observation while issuing notice to an Indian-origin doctor, who was barred from practising by a US court in 2011 and was now treating patients in the National Capital Region (NCR).
"Such a doctor deserves to be caught and barred from practicing," a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.
The court took on record a report filed by the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), in pursuance to its earlier direction, giving details of the doctor and stating that he was practicing in Delhi and Gurgaon.
The bench directed DSLSA to establish or contact the court in Georgia in the US to obtain and place before it the order by which the doctor was asked to surrender all US medical licences, leave the country and "not practice medicine in any form within the United States or any other country".
The court had earlier directed DSLSA Member Secretary Sanjeev Jain to ascertain the name and address of this doctor, carry out an immediate probe and file a report in four days.
Taking cognisance of the media report, the high court had earlier asked the government about a mechanism to ensure that Indian-origin doctors, who were barred from practising by a foreign country, do not treat patients here.
As per the media report earlier referred to by the bench, the medical practitioner had pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery for unwarranted medical examination on women patients.
The court had noted that the report had claimed that the mechanisms governing medical practice in India were ill- equipped to detect such cases which enabled such doctors to practice in the country.
It had said that the issues raised in the report were of public importance inasmuch as they related to the life and health of the citizens involved.
It had also issued notice to the Medical Council of India asking it to file a report on the mechanism, statutory regime as well as rules and regulations in place to scrutinise and check such practices.
The bench had sought the response of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and appointed senior advocate Prashanto Sen as the amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the matter.
As per the report referred to by the court, the doctor was charged in Georgia in the US with aggravated sexual battery, a crime that carries a mandatory minimum 25 years in prison.
Following his indictment by a superior court in Georgia in 2010, a plea bargain was negotiated. He had pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual battery and was asked to surrender all US medical licences, leave the country and "not practice medicine in any form within the United States or any other country," the court referred in its order.
As per the report, the doctor now runs a clinic each in Delhi and Gurgaon.