Dr Payal Tadvi Suicide case: Maharashtra Medical Council revokes suspension of 2 accused doctors
Mumbai: Following the orders of the Bombay High Court to pass any order as per the section of the MMC Act, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has now revoked the suspension of the medical licences of two of the three accused doctors booked for allegedly abetting the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi last year.
In the meantime, aggrieved by the council's decision, Dr Tadvi's mother has moved the State Medical Education minister Amit Deshmukh citing the suspension as an injustice to the deceased doctor.
Medical Dialogues had extensively reported about the unfortunate case, wherein, the 26-year-old PG medico Dr Payal Tadvi pursuing MD Gynecology from a well known BYL Nair Hospital in Mumbai had allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself in her hostel room in May 2019. The doctor was allegedly under depression as three of her senior colleagues allegedly used to harass her with casteist remarks.
A complaint was moved by the medico's family and a case against the trio was registered under section 306 (abetment for suicide) of the Indian penal code (IPC), sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Act, Anti-Ragging Act and Information Technology Act, 2000.
Later, the Bombay High Court had granted bail to three doctors and directed the trio to submit a surety of Rs 2 Lakh and appear before the crime branch every alternate day. The court had further directed them not to travel outside Mumbai without permission or go inside the BYL Nair Hospital, where Dr Tadvi had committed suicide. The high court ordered that the licences of the accused would remain suspended until the trial concludes.
In November last year, the accused had approached the HC seeking relaxation in some of the conditions imposed and requested to be allowed to pursue further studies.
Further in December, the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) exonerated the two former department heads at the BYL Nair Hospital for the want of "linking evidence". Read Also: Dr Payal Tadvi Suicide Case: 2 Accused Doctors Exonerated By Maharashtra Human Rights Panel
Several deliberations were made on the petition from both sides.
Meanwhile, in February this year, the HC refused permission to three women doctors to complete their PG courses. The bench stated that the they can pursue post-graduation after trial in the case is complete.
The court noted that the Maharashtra Medical Council has already initiated inquiry into the issue and shall take appropriate decision on suspension of their licences. The bench had said that in the eventuality that the three are found guilty, the MMC would be at liberty to pass any order as per the section of the Act.
Justice Sadhana Jadhav had in an order passed on February 21 this year recalled the condition of suspension of their licences stating that the court did not have the jurisdiction to order such a suspension.
Under the MMC Act's Section 22 (1), if a medical practitioner is found guilty after due enquiry is held by the council, among the actions recommended are a letter of warning, removal of her name from the register for a specific period or permanent removal of her name.
Now, the state medical council has revoked the suspension of licences of 2 doctors. Confirming about the same, Dr Shivkumar Utture, MMC president informed The Indian Express, "We had suspended their licences following the directions of the Bombay High Court order and have now issued an order revoking the suspension also following the directions of the honourable court. An inquiry against the three is in progress, notices were issued to them and replies received. Due to the lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic, members of the council who reside across the state have not been able to meet. Once a meeting is convened, the inquiry will commence and a decision will be taken as per the rules."
Ahuja, who is not registered with the MMC but with the medical council of another state, was directed by the Bombay High Court to register with the MMC. The process is pending.
Meanwhile, the deceased medico's mother has moved the state Minister for Medical Education Amit Deshmukh after she was informed about the MMC decision last week during the proceedings of an appeal before the Supreme Court. In the letter to the minister, the mother has sought the accused's licences to practice medicine remain suspended till the trial in the case concludes.
"We have made repeated pleas before the MMC to cancel their medical registration licences. It is necessary to keep their licences under suspension till the trial in the case concludes. Over a year since my daughter's death, the trial is yet to begin, nor have charges been framed against them. We were also not informed about the MMC's decision to revoke the suspension, which is an injustice towards my daughter," the letter states.
The trial, which has been expedited by the High Court, has been stalled since the lockdown.