The Bombay High Court on 21st February rejected the plea of the accused doctors in the Dr. Payel Tadvi suicide case. The three accused doctors approached the Bombay High Court praying the Court to relax their bail conditions so that their right to continue their postgraduate studies from Topiwala National Medical College, attached to the BYL Nair Hospital, can be protected. Justice SS Jadhav of the Bombay High Court passed the order taking into account the contention made by the Gynecology department of BYL Nair Hospital citing that the presence of the accused doctors will hamper the atmosphere of the hospital and provisions of health services.
Dr. Payel Tadvi was a postgraduate student of Topiwala National Medical College, Mumbai. Dr. Payel committed suicide on May 22nd last year by hanging herself in her hostel room. Her family and friends accused three of her seniors, doctors Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehere and Ankita Khandelwal, for harassment and caste discrimination. The Crime Branch filed the Chargesheet which included a suicide note recovered from Dr. Payel’s phone. The Police claimed that in her suicide note, Dr. Payel blamed the three accused doctor of harassment and said that they’ll be responsible for her death.
The Bombay High Court granted bail to the three accused doctors. The doctors are charged with abetment to suicide. The High Court granted the bail on a PR Bond of Rs. 2 lakh each. Further, strict conditions were imposed in the bail such as to report to the concerned authorities every alternate day before the charges are framed. The accused doctors were also directed not to enter the jurisdiction of BYL Nair Hospital and Topiwala National Medical College.
- The application filed by the accused doctors, for relaxing the bail conditions, was rejected on the ground that they might tamper with evidence.
- BYL Nair Hospital is also submitted that the presence of the accused doctors will adversely affect the environment of the hospital and the provision of health services.
The High Court’s order
Justice SS Jadhav of the Bombay High Court passed the order, rejecting the plea of the accused Doctors for relaxing the bail conditions imposed on them. Responding to the application of the accused for relaxing the bail condition, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Raja Thakre said, there is a possibility that the accused doctors might be influencing the witnesses, who are students of the same college, is the bail conditions were relaxed.
SPP Raja Thakre, in the interest of ruling out even the slightest possibility of witness tampering, sought that instructions must be obtained from Topiwala National Medical College on whether the accused may pursue their studies in a separate unit. To this, Additional Public Prosecutor SS Shinde also told the Court that she is willing to assist Mr. Raja on this aspect. Taking note of all the submissions Justice SS Jadhav on 20th listed the matter for 21st to pass appropriate order, after examining the stance of BYL Nair Charity Hospital and Gynecology Department of Topiwala National Medical College.
The Gynecology Department of Topiwala National Medical College and DYL Nair Charity Hospital submitted in the Court that they oppose the plea of the accused doctors. They cited that there is apprehension that the presence of the accused doctors in the hospital would adversely affect the environment at the hospital and provisions of health services. Taking into account this submission Justice SS Jadhav rejected the plea of the three accused doctors seeking relaxing of bail conditions.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. Ankita Kailash Khandelwal v. The State of Maharashtra, Hema Suresh Ahuja v. The State of Maharashtra, and Bhakti Arvind Mehere v. The State of Maharashtra, Interim Application No. 2,3, and 4 in Criminal Appeal No. 911 of 2019.