A Delhi court has summoned a doctor as an accused for violating the Delhi Medical Council (DMC) norms by allegedly treating homosexuality as a “genetic mental disorder” and using electric shocks to treat members of the LGBT community who came to him.
The court passed an order when a complaint was received by Girish Tyagi, Registrar and Secretary of DMC, after the doctor, P K Gupta, continued to practice even after being debarred from working in the capital.
The complaint stated that the DMC received a letter in 2015 from Anajali Gopalan, executive director of Naz Foundation, informing them about a report where a doctor claimed to convert homosexuals to heterosexuals.
Court records stated: “In the said article, it was mentioned that Dr Gupta described homosexuality as a mental disorder and believed in exploring evidence of childhood psychological damage before starting treatment.”
The complaint said the DMC had debarred Gupta in 2016 from practicing in Delhi, yet he was projecting himself as a doctor and was hence liable for prosecution. It stated that DMC had issued a notice to the doctor regarding alleged professional misconduct, but Gupta responded that he was not registered with the council and was not liable to respond.
Metropolitan magistrate Abhilash Malhotra said treatment given by doctors as part of “conversion therapy” was not recognised either by medical science or by legislature.
The court summoned the doctor as an accused, saying that he was prima facie found to be contravening a provision of the Indian Medical Council Act which entails a maximum of one year jail term.
“It is amply clear that the legislature in its prudence and vision did not think sexual orientation to be part of mental illness. Accordingly, it is clear that the treatment given by doctors as a part of ‘conversion therapy’ is not recognised either by the medicine or by the legislation,” the magistrate said.