The final report on alleged ragging and harassment in the Dr Payal Tadvi suicide case is likely to be submitted by the committee appointed by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS) to the medical education ministry on Thursday. Prima facie, findings of the panel indicate charges of harassment against three final-year resident doctors, Dr Hema Ahuja, Dr Bhakti Mehare and Dr Ankita Khandelwal.
On Wednesday, parents of the three students met panel members to record their statements. Speaking on behalf of their daughters, they said the allegations are false and the three “were only responding to work pressure”.
On May 22, Tadvi, a second-year gynaecology student of TN Topiwala National Medical College, committed suicide in her hostel room. Her mother has registered a case against the three seniors alleging caste discrimination and harassment drove her daughter to suicide.
Following the incident, an anti-ragging committee in Nair hospital last week submitted a preliminary report that confirmed charges of ragging and harassment against all three doctors. MUHS formed a four-member committee to give its final opinion in the case. It has so far carried out extensive interviews with 45-50 people. On Wednesday, the committee met Kailash Khandelwal, father of Ankita, Suresh and Kavita Ahuja, parents of Hema, and Arvind Mehare, Bhakti’s father.
According to committee members, based on interviews with hostel roommates, doctors and friends of Payal and the three seniors, while there is evidence of harassment at work, a few committee members have observed this cannot be labeled as ragging. The committee, however, holds power to take action under the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act, 1999.
A medical education ministry official said action in this case, if the three are found guilty of harassment, could also lead to suspension or dismissal. Under the Act, a student cannot seek admission in any other college for five years if dismissed.