A sessions court in Mumbai on Friday acquitted dean of the government-run J J Hospital, Dr T P Lahane, in a case of alleged casteist remarks against a sweeper. Additional Sessions Judge S G Shete acquitted Lahane of all the charges.
Narayan Waghela, a temporary sweeper at the hospital, had lodged a complaint against Lahane under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in February 2014, alleging that Lahane hurled casteist abuse at him.
Lahane and he had an argument when Waghela asked a fellow sweeper not to work as all low-rank temporary employees were on strike.
However, during the trial, Waghela backtracked, saying Lahane hadn’t hurled any casteist slur. The prosecution had produced an `eye-witness’, but the defence established that he couldn’t hear properly, said advocate Kode.
Waghela had also filed an affidavit later stating that he had lodged the complaint “in a fit of rage” and due to “misunderstanding and stress”, and he wanted to withdraw it. Dr Lahane, a renowned ophthalmologist, is a recipient of Padma Shri award.