Mumbai: BMC chief cracks the whip on senior docs, Nair Hospital dean
Exclusive: Speaking for the first time on the Payal Tadvi case, Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi says police probe has enough material to show that top doctors ignored Dr Tadvi's complaints; says internal probe will decide exact punishment
Three months after Dr Payal Tadvi hanged herself to death in her hostel room at B Y L Nair Hospital, Municipal Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi has broken his silence on the issue on Wednesday. He told mid-day that he would be taking action against everyone named in the letter sent to the civic body by the crime branch. The letter mentions the names of three doctors, one of whom is the dean of Nair hospital, Dr Ramesh Bharmal.
ON August 7, the crime branch had sent a letter to Pardeshi recommending departmental action against the three doctors. "Yes, we have received a letter from the crime branch and we are definitely going to take action. Currently, we are going through everything that has been mentioned in it. The crime branch has said this is not criminal negligence but neglect of departmental duties, neglecting to counsel the students involved in the ragging. It has mentioned the names of those who did not take serious cognisance of the oral complaints of students," said Pardeshi.
Dr Ramesh Bharmal, dean of Nair hospital, who has also been named in the crime branch letter
"The report which has been submitted by the crime branch has some material based on which action will be initiated soon, but we are also conducting our own inquiry to understand which doctor played what role as far as ignorance regarding Dr Tadvi's complaint was concerned. Also, the extent of ignorance of each doctor," Pardeshi added.
On August 8, mid-day had reported that the crime branch had no evidence to prosecute Dr Ching Ling (Head Of department at the time of the complaints being made), Dr Sneha Shirodkar (gynaecology department head) and the dean of Nair Hospital, Dr Bharmal, but as there was enough evidence to take departmental action against these HoDs, chief of crime branch Santosh Rastogi has recommended it against the trio.
According to the chargesheet, Dr Tadvi had not made any written complaints with the doctors but on many occasions had informed Dr Ling about the harassment. Witness statements also suggest that Dr Tadvi had informed her gynaecology department head, Dr Shirodkar, and later Dr Ling, too, had apparently informed Shirdokar of the harassment days before Dr Tadvi committed suicide. However, Dr Shirodkar made contradictory statements to the crime branch. She at first admitted that she had been informed by Dr Ling but later denied that Dr Ling had told her anything.
Day crime branch sent letter to BMC recommending action
Day Dr Payal Tadvi hanged herself in her hostel room
Why action against dean of Nair Hospital?
The crime branch letter states that as the dean of the hospital, Dr Bharmal should have been aware of what was going on with the staff. Tadvi's mother had told the crime branch that she had gone to meet the dean of the hospital on May 13, but was not allowed to meet him. However, the crime branch has recorded the statements of three peons from the dean's office who told the crime branch that no one had come to meet the dean on May 13.
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