ANDHRA PRADESH

Doctor couple acquitted in cheating case

Special Correspondent

Judgments of lower courts are not sustainable in law or on fact: High Court

VIJAYAWADA: The High Court has acquitted a doctor couple sentenced by lower courts to two years simple imprisonment in a cheating case.

High Court Judge Justice Samudrala Govindarajulu, in a four page order, found the conclusions of the Fourth Metropolitan Magistrate Court and the Mahila Court “not based on evidence record and are based on surmises and conjectures, which is not permissible in law.”

He also ruled that “there is gross miscarriage of justice in the matter and judgments of both courts below are not sustainable in law or on fact.” The judgment was dated March 19, 2010.

The Fourth Metropolitan Magistrate, in a judgment dated March 31, 2003, convicted In Vitro Fertility (IVF) expert Kolli Rama Devi and her husband Rajendra Prasad for offence under Section 420 IPC and sentenced them to simple imprisonment for two years and awarded compensation of Rs. 1 lakh to petitioners.

When the couple appealed to the Mahila Court, the Mahila Sessions Judge confirmed convictions and sentences against the doctor couple. The case against the IVF expert Rama Devi became a sensation in the city 10 years ago when a radiologist running a scanning centre charged her with cheating issueless women with false scanning reports, which said that they had become pregnant after treatment.

The High Court, in its order, recorded that the counsel appearing for Rama Devi contended that the lower courts failed to appreciate the full evidence given by the petitioner resulting in miscarriage of justice.

On examining the case, the Judge ruled that there was pregnancy after the treatment, but the petitioner underwent a “miscarriage of pregnancy after she was discharged from the IVF centre.” The couple , addressing a press conference here on Wednesday releasing judgment copies to the media, said that they were put to tremendous hardship. Indian Medical Association National President G. Samaram was also present.