Dr Payal Tadvi's suicide: Doctors get bail, but can't go back to Nair hospital

Updated: Aug 10, 2019, 08:34 IST | Suraj Ojha, Diwakar Sharma | Mumbai

Bond was set at Rs 2 lakh for the three seniors accused of caste harassment and abetment to suicide in Dr Payal Tadvi's case

Dr Payal Tadvi
Dr Payal Tadvi

The Bombay High Court, on Friday, granted bail to all three doctors accused of abetting the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi in Nair hospital in May. The three doctors, Payal's seniors, have been accused of humiliating her with their casteist remarks. Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare told the court that the prosecution did not have any objections if bail was granted as a charge sheet has already been filed in the case.

The accused Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal have been in jail for more than two months. The high court has granted the doctors a conditional bail against personal bonds worth Rs 2,00,000 each to be released, along with other sureties. "They shall not leave Mumbai without the permission of the court. The appellants shall report to the office of Crime Branch, Nagpada every alternate day till framing of charges," the order read.

Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehare and Hema Ahuja have been booked in Dr Payal Tadvi's suicide case
Ankita Khandelwal, Bhakti Mehare and Hema Ahuja have been booked in Dr Payal Tadvi's suicide case

The accused are also barred from entering into the jurisdiction of Agripada police station and more particularly, Topiwala National Medical College (BYL Nair Hospital). "Their licences issued by Medical Council of India, as well as Maharashtra Medical Council, shall remain suspended till the conclusion of the trial. They have to attend the trial court for every hearing unless exempted by the trial court," the court order further stated.

If the three are found committing a breach of any of these conditions, "the investigating agency would be at liberty to seek cancellation of bail." A senior prison officer attached to the Byculla District Jail told mid-day that they are yet to receive a court order to release the trio. "We release the inmates only after receiving court order by 5.30 pm. We haven't received it yet," the officer said. Defence counsel Abad Ponda said, "It takes time to get the bail order. They will be released on Tuesday."

Also Read: Dr Payal Tadvi case: Testimonies put senior doctors' roles in spotlight

No video recording?

In the previous hearing, video recording of the entire proceeding was allowed by the trial court and also the Bombay High Court later. However, with a new judge hearing the matter, he has decided to review the earlier order of video recording and asked for the state government 's assistance on this aspect. Advocate General (AG), on behalf of the state government, submitted on Friday, that he objects to video recording as there is no clarity on the fate of the recording. "Also, the previous order does not say audio and video recording. It only says video recording. Without audio, the video will be as good as CCTV," he stated.

'Irresponsible media trial'

The AG also objected to the manner in which media coverage of the case was being done. He said an irresponsible media trial was underway with the court agreeing. "Even my earlier order was misinterpreted in this matter," the court said. The AG said that editors needed to be more responsible with reporting this case.

Also Read: Accused doctors in Payal Tadvi's case never behaved normally with their juniors, say doctors

Cops respond

During the last hearing, the court had questioned the crime branch over delay in recording statements of witnesses in front of the magistrate. On Friday, the crime branch informed the court that the statements had been recorded. Justice SS Jadhav also questioned the prosecution about Dr Payal Tadvi's friend who had complained of being victimised by the accused as to why she was targetted despite not belonging to the reserved category.

22 May
Day Dr Payal Tadvi committed suicide

Also Read: Mumbai doctor suicide: What we know so far about Dr Payal Tadvi's death

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