Supreme Court allows accused in Payal Tadvi case to return to college

The three doctors accused of abetment in Payal Tadvi’s suicide case being taken to court. File   | Photo Credit: Shashank Parade

The Supreme Court has allowed the three doctors accused of abetting the suicide of Dr. Payal Tadvi to re-enter their medical college and resume post-graduate courses, subject to certain conditions.

“They must be allowed to go back to their courses of study, otherwise the pendency of prosecution against them will add further penalty in the form of prejudicing their career. Any such adverse impact will negate their rights under Article 21 of the Constitution,” a three-judge Bench led by Justice U.U. Lalit observed in a judgment on Thursday.

The verdict came on an appeal filed by the accused — Ankita Kailash Khandelwal, Hema Suresh Ahuja and Bhakti Arvind Mehare — against a February 20 order of the Bombay High Court. The High Court had granted them bail but imposed conditions, including that they should not re-enter the college from which they were suspended by the Dean a few days before their arrest.


Ms. Tadvi took her own life on May 22 last year. Her mother filed a complaint against the trio, alleging that they harassed her daughter, their junior in college. She accused them of being directly responsible for her daughter's death. The police registered a case of abetting suicide and under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the anti-ragging law. A 1200-page chargesheet was filed.

The court observed that their suspension was based purely on the fact of the registration of the crime. It had no statutory basis.

Besides, the accused had to train under the same guide in the same institution where they were registered, the court reasoned.

The judgment contained several conditions. Among others, the accused should not attempt to influence any witnesses, they shall be present in court on trial dates, they may not reside in the residents' quarters of the college hospital, unless their registration allows them to do so, and they shall avail themselves of study leave/vacation to reduce their presence in the campus as much as possible. Any untoward incident should be reported to the police immediately.

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2020 5:47:46 AM |

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