In a case accusing state-run J J Hospital dean Dr T P Lahane of making casteist remarks against a staffer, the “victim” has told the court that the matter has been settled out of court. The complainant, Naresh Waghela, was on Thursday declared hostile by the special court designated under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Waghela, during his deposition, said he continues to be employed at J J Hospital. He said he was a temporary worker when the incident took place. He said at that time, 500-600 employees were working on a temporary basis and had gone on a strike on February 13, 2014, to seek permanency.
He added that on February 14, he, along with his friends, was standing outside the Out Patients Department and discussing about the strike.
He said he saw a sweeper working and went to convince him to stop working as they were on strike. He claimed that Lahane and other staff members told him and others not to stand there and allow those who want to work to continue.
Waghela told the court that he had then called his trade union leaders and told them that he was driven outside the premises after which, some of them went to the police station to lodge a complaint. While he claimed that he himself had given a complaint to the police, he later told the court that the FIR was not read out to him. He also claimed that the part in the FIR about Lahane having made casteist remarks about him are “not correct”.
After he was declared hostile, Waghela was cross-examined by the prosecutor.
“It is true that the matter is decided out of the court. It is not true to say that due to the compromise I am denying the portion marked A (allegations on the casteist remarks),” Waghela told the court. On being further cross-examined by Lahane’s lawyer, Swapna Kode, Waghela claimed that he had not spoken to Lahane till date. He then claimed that his report was not read to him by the police. “It is true that when I came to know that my report is not as per my say, I went to the police station to withdraw the complaint,” he said.
Waghela had in March this year submitted before the court that he wanted to withdraw the case.