A doctor, who terms homosexuality as “genetic mental disorder” and uses electric shock to treat gay and lesbian people, has been summoned by a Delhi court as an accused for violating norms. Though Dr P K Gupta was de-barred by the Delhi Medical Council (DMC), he was still indulging in this bizarre practice.
The court took note of a complaint against Gupta by the DMC, which claimed that he was using hormonal and shock therapy to provide treatment. The complaint said the DMC had debarred Gupta in 2016 from practising in Delhi and as he was still projecting himself as a doctor, he was liable for prosecution.
Metropolitan magistrate Abhilash Malhotra said treatment given by doctors as a part of “conversion therapy” was not recognised either by medical science or by legislature. Conversion therapy is an attempt to change a person’s sexual orientation using psychological or spiritual interventions.
The court summoned the doctor as accused saying 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 thought sexual orientation to be part of mental illness. Accordingly, it is clear that the treatment given by the doctors as a part of ‘conversion therapy’ is not recognised either by the medicine or by the legislation,” the magistrate said.
The court said from the complaint, it was prima facie clear that Gupta was practising as a doctor in Delhi despite being debarred by the DMC. A person found practising without registration, even qualified, shall be liable for action specified by the council, it said.
The court, in its summons, also referred to the judgement on homosexuality delivered by the Supreme Court which had decriminalised consensual sexual acts between two adults in private.
Initially, the council received a letter from Anjali Gopalan, executive director of Naz Foundation (India) Trust, informing it about a news report in 2015 where some doctors advocated for ‘conversion therapy’ claiming to convert “homosexuals into heterosexuals”. According to the news report, some doctors including Gupta were using hormonal therapy, shock treatment and medications to treat homosexuals as if they are suffering from some disease.
The letter also referred to another news article which said the dubious procedure included talk therapy which could lead to depression, anxiety, seizures and suicidal tendencies. Referring to the articles, the complaint had said Gupta had described homosexuality as a genetic mental disorder and believed in exploring evidence of childhood psychological damage before starting the treatment.
The court said that Gupta, running a super speciality clinic at Karol Bagh area here, was charging Rs 4,500 for 15 minutes counselling, after which he decides to go for hormonal therapy or psychological therapy. When the DMC a issued notice to the doctor regarding alleged professional misconduct, Gupta had said he was not registered with the council and was not liable to respond.