Dr Payal Tadvi Suicide: Bombay HC directs video recording during bail hearing of accused doctors

Dr Payal Tadvi Suicide: Bombay HC directs video recording during bail hearing of accused doctors

Bar & Bench

Omkar Gokhale

The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed its registry to make arrangements to facilitate the video recording of the bail hearing of doctors accused in the Dr Payal Tadvi suicide case.

Justice DS Naidu issued the direction while dealing with bail pleas filed by doctors Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Mehare and Ankita Khandelwal, arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi.

After a special court rejected their bail applications last month, the three accused doctors had moved to Bombay High Court seeking bail. The special court had rejected their bail applications, stating that there was a likelihood of the accused doctors trying to abscond or tamper with the evidence.

Appearing for Dr Tadvi’s mother before the High Court, advocate Sadavarte, requested that the video recording of the bail hearing be allowed. The plea had been opposed by advocate Ponda, appearing for the accused doctors.

In response, Justice Naidu has called for appropriate arrangements to be made so that the bail hearing before it may be recorded.

During the course of today’s hearing, Justice Naidu also remarked that he makes sure that the audio of all important proceedings before him are recorded on his iPad, so that he does not miss out on arguments made before him.

Justice Naidu also showed his iPad to the lawyers present, Aabad Ponda, Gunratna Sadavarte and Raja Thakare, informing them that their arguments are being recorded as well.

Earlier the trial court had also ordered that the bail proceedings before it be recorded on video. However, it could not take place owing to lack of facilities.

On Tuesday, the crime branch of Mumbai Police filed the chargesheet before the trial court against the three doctors accused of having abetted the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi.

Dr Payal Tadvi, postgraduate student at the TN Topiwala National Medical College, Mumbai had committed suicide by hanging herself in a hostel room on May 22. Her family had accused three of her seniors of harassment and caste discrimination.

The 1200-page chargesheet filed by crime branch includes suicide note recovered from Dr. Payal Tadvi’s mobile. Police claimed that Tadvi, in her note, blamed three accused doctors for harassment and said that they will be responsible for her death.

I have made this decision after trying everything out. I found out no one is there to stand for us, support us in this department. Infact it is all our fault, or we are at fault has been concluded“, Tadvi is said to have written.

The three doctors have been booked under Sections 34 and 306 of the Indian Penal code (IPC), Section 67 of Information Technology (IT) Act, Section 3 of The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act.

Appearing for the crime branch, Raja Thakare had opposed the appeal made by three accused doctors against the special court’s rejection of their bail plea.

On July 4, Thakare told the High Court that the investigation is at a crucial stage and that it would be completed within two weeks, even though the accused doctors were not being cooperative.

During the hearing, the High Court had also asked Thakare if the police had informed the Medical Council of India (MCI) and its state wing Medical Council of Maharashtra (MCM) about the case lodged against the three accused doctors.

The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police had approached the Bombay High Court claiming that it did not get the opportunity to conduct its own probe in the case. It, therefore, filed an application before the High Court seeking custody of the three accused doctors. In response, the High Court had granted partial custody to the Crime Branch to probe the accused.

The High Court will hear the bail application of accused doctors on July 30.

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