Bombay HC grants relief to Gynaecologist accused of illegal MTP, can resume practice
Mumbai: In a major relief to the gynaecologist who was facing trial with his wife for allegedly conducting illegal abortions in their medical facility, the Bombay High Court has granted him permission to continue the medical practice.
The doctor was booked for allegedly being involved in illegal abortions and was convicted under provisions of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994.
The case of an illegal abortion procedure was registered by police against Dr Jadhavar and his wife, also a gynaecologist in Maharashtra's Solapur district in February 2018. After almost one year of trial, the accused doctor has finally been allowed to continue his medical practice.
Previously, The Medical Dialogues Team reported that the two of the accused were placed under arrest after Sangola Rural Hospital's medical officer, Dr Sandeep Belapatre, received a tip-off that an illegal Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) was being conducted at the New Dhanashree Hospital and Maternity Home run by the gynaecologists.
Subsequently, the doctor couple was arrested under sections 312, 315 and 201 read with section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, and section 5 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, however, the couple pleaded not guilty and asserted that the abortions were due to medical conditions and therefore there was no violation of the MTP Act.
On June 4, 2018, the Woman gynaecologist submitted to HC for a bail. Justice Sadhana Jadhav granted bail to the woman doctor as some of the cases referred involved a low gestation period ranging between 8th and 10th week. However, the bench added that the doctors won't be allowed to practice till the pendency of the case. After that 20th of Feb, 2020 she was granted permission to continue practising.
The accused male gynaecologist on the other hand also got bail on the same ground of not practising until the case is resolved, however, when he appealed to the session Court to allow him to resume his practice on the same ground as his wife, his plea was rejected.
The doctor's lawyer submitted that on the basis of parity, the petitioner doctor has the right to receive the same relaxation granted to his wife who was also a co-accused in the same case. But it was refused after considering that Dr Jadhavar has been convicted in a separate case under the PCPNDT Act. But when his plea was rejected by the session Court, he approached the High Court to grant him relief.
Contrary to the session Court's decision, Justice CV Bhadang found that it will be biased to deny the doctor all the relaxations granted to his wife who was also a co-accused in the same case. Stating the conviction under the PCPNDT Act an extraneous consideration, the Judge added that "The consideration in my view has to be principally confined to the present case," reports a daily.
The court further stated that "Once the said condition has been relaxed in respect of the co-accused, and where the reasons for such relaxation, namely that the co-accused Dr. Ashwini Jadhavar has abided by the said condition and that there is no likelihood of the trial coming to end in the near future [which apply equally to the case of the petitioner, the parity cannot be refused", reports HT.