A special court framed charges against JJ Hospital Dean Dr T P Lahane on Saturday in a 2014 case where he is alleged to have passed casteist remarks against a hospital staffer. Lahane pleaded not guilty to the charges. Lahane was booked on February 14, 2014, for allegedly making a casteist remark against staffer Naresh Waghela, a conservancy worker at JJ Hospital, during a strike in connection with demands of permanency in service.
In March this year, Waghela had submitted before the court that he wished to withdraw the complaint against Lahane. In an affidavit filed before the court, he said that he had filed the case in a ‘fit of rage’ and due to ‘misunderstanding and stress’. On Saturday, both the complainant and Lahane were present in court. During the next hearing scheduled next week, the prosecution is expected to submit a list of witnesses to begin the trial.
The special court is expected to conduct the trial including recording of the deposition of the complainant in the case since the sections Lahane is booked under are non-compoundable to allow an out of court settlement. Lahane has been booked under section 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.