Payal Tadvi suicide case: 'Allow Dr Ching Ling to get back to work'

Updated: Feb 12, 2020, 07:53 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Nair medical college profs come out in support of doctor who was suspended five days after Dr Payal Tadvi committed suicide last year

Dr Payal Tadvi with her husband Dr Salman Tadvi
Dr Payal Tadvi with her husband Dr Salman Tadvi

More than eight months after associate professor, Gynaecology department of T N Medical College and BYL Nair Hospital, Dr Yi Ching Ling, was suspended post the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi, her colleagues have come out in support of her stating that she was left to suffer with no inquiry carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) till date. The faculty members of Nair medical college are of the opinion that Dr Ching Ling should be reinstated at the earliest, especially because the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has given her a clean chit.
 
Speaking to mid-day, Dr Rajan Nerurkar, professor of Pharmacology at the medical college, said, "We have decided unanimously to come out in support of Dr Ching Ling. The faculty members are extremely concerned about her, as the BMC has not initiated an inquiry against her till now. A meeting has been called to take up the matter soon. We had sent a letter to Municipal Commissioner, Praveen Pardeshi, in August 2019 regarding the matter but nothing has happened. We will again write to the authorities requesting them to reinstate her."

"It is unfair to hold someone accountable without giving the person a fair chance to express his or her side," added Dr Nerurkar.

Professor Dr Ravindra Deokar, secretary of Municipal Medical Teachers' Association, said, "Our association will write a letter to the BMC administration, including Director of Medical Education and Major Hospital, MCGM Dr Ramesh Bharmal, who is also the dean of Nair medical college, and additional commissioner (Health), requesting them to reinstate Dr Ching Ling."

When contacted, Dr Bharmal said, "I have already put in a request for the same before the superiors and their response is awaited. As per norms she is now entitled to suspension allowance."

However, speaking on condition of anonymity, another professor said, "I met Dr Ching Ling a few weeks ago and she was seriously concerned about her future. She fears that all of this will adversely affect her pension and retirement benefits, as she has no other source of income. She is not only deprived of her salary but has also not been considered for the revised salary under the Seventh Pay Commission, as the inquiry is pending. This is unfair. She has a family to look after."

"Moreover, we have a Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) order dated September 11, 2018, which clearly states that if no inquiry is initiated against the suspended employee within 90 days from the date of suspension, the person needs to be reinstated from the 91st day, and all the payments should be cleared. And in this case, Dr Ching Ling is under suspension for the last 262 days and still no inquiry has even been started, isn't it absurd?" asked another professor.

Other side

Medical college sources said that Dr Ching Ling had visited the BMC headquarters and met Sunil Dhamne in the last week with the request of getting her reinstated. Confirming the same, Sunil Dhamne, deputy municipal commissioner (Public Health), said, "I have asked the deputy chief inquiry officer of BMC to expedite the matter."
When informed about the MAT order, Dhamne said, "If MAT or any other court has passed such an order, and if Dr Ching Ling has the order copy, then she should present her case before the additional commissioner (Health) or the commissioner himself. They will look into the merits of the case and do the needful."

'Moved NHRC'

When contacted, Dr Payal's husband, Dr Salman Tadvi, said, "We have already moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) challenging the clean chit given to Dr Ching Ling and Dr Sneha Shirodkar by MSHRC. We will put forward our points whenever the matter comes up for hearing. Payal in her suicide note had clearly named Dr Ching Ling, and moreover even the Bombay High Court had made an observation stating that she should be made a co-accused in the case.

She might try to tamper with evidence once she gets access to the department."

MAT order

In an order passed by Justice A H Joshi, chairman of MAT, on September 11, 2018, related to a case filed by Dilip Ambilwade V/s State of Maharashtra and director of Health Services (original application no 35/2018), it was said, “Continuation of suspension beyond 90 days is beyond disregarded and it is directed that applicant shall be deemed to have been reinstated after completion of 90 days of actual suspension and all consequential benefits thereof shall follow, treating that suspension ceased to exist 90 days after the date of order of suspension.”

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