Dr Payal Tadvi case: High Court asks state, what action taken against Dr Ching Ling
Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare tells court disciplinary action recommended, but letter not yet sent to civic chief
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday, while hearing the bail pleas of the three accused in Dr Payal Tadvi's suicide, sought an opinion from the state about whether Dr Ching Ling, former unit head at the Nair Gynaecology department, has been held responsible for the offence punishable under Anti-Ragging Act,1999.
Responding to the court, Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare said that a letter recommending a departmental inquiry against Dr Ling had been prepared by the investigating officer, but had not yet been submitted to the municipal commissioner.
The Bombay High Court in its order has stated, "Special Prosecutor Mr Raja Thakare submits that the investigating officer was prima facie of the opinion that Dr Ching Ling would be liable for disciplinary action [and not prosecution] for not considering the complaint made by Mrs Abeda Tadvi [mother] and Dr Salman Tadvi [husband] as well as the colleagues of the deceased Ms Tadvi, as it was pointed out that there was no written complaint under section 6 of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999.
Lawyer Gunratan Sadavarte has been representing Payal's mother Abeda Tadvi in the case
"It is made clear that this court had only made a query as to whether Dr Ching Ling has been held responsible/liable for the offence punishable under section 7 of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999. This court has not given any direction but has sought the opinion of the investigating agency. Thakare submits upon instructions that the recommendation letter for a departmental inquiry of Dr Ching Ling was also prepared by the investigating officer. However, the same is not yet submitted to the Municipal Commissioner," the court further stated.
A senior crime branch officer told mid-day, "The recommendation letter for departmental action against Dr Ling, Dr Sneha Shirodkar (gynaecology department head) and dean of the hospital Dr Ramesh Bharmal will be sent to the BMC commissioner on August 7."
Dr Payal Tadvi parents at the sessions court. File pic
Abeda Tadvi's lawyer Gunratan Sadavarte told mid-day, "During the hearing, the court also asked the state government why the statements of the key witnesses in the Payal Tadvi case were not yet not recorded before the magistrate. Responding to the high court, the public prosecutor assured that their statements would be recorded before the next hearing."
The court in its order, stated, "Special Prosecutor Thakare submits that the investigating agency would take all steps to record the statement of Dr Snehal Shinde and other witnesses."
Meanwhile, Thakare has requested that the Bombay High Court pass an order banning media coverage of the case, which the court has denied. "The request was made by the public prosecutor and supported by the defence lawyer to bar media reporting, which I have opposed and told the court that the media is the fourth pillar of society and they were allowed to report matters even pertaining to the chief justice of India. The court has told the special public prosecutor that it cannot stop the media from reporting," Sadavarte said.
The next hearing in the matter is on August 9.
Dr Payal Tadvi committed suicide on May 22, by hanging herself from the ceiling fan inside the campus of Nair Hospital. Recently, the Crime Branch filed a 1,200-page charge sheet which includes the statements of several doctors and staff accusing Dr Ching Ling of not acting on Payal's complaints of harassment.
Departmental action recommendation letter will be sent to civic chief
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