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Payal Tadvi suicide case: Maharashtra human rights panel gives clean chit to two faculty heads

“The two doctors, through their lawyers, have explained the circumstances and put forth their side. They conveyed that they never received any written complaint from Dr Payal Tadvi or her family,” said MSHRC chairperson M A Sayeed.

Written by Gargi Verma | Mumbai |
Updated: December 30, 2019 10:57:14 am
Payal Tadvi, Payal Tadvi suicide, Mumbai city news, Mumbai, maharashtra Human Rights Commission, B Y L Nair Hospital, Payal Tadvi suicide case probe Dr Yi Ching Ling and Dr S D Shirodkar, as faculty heads, were named as accused in the case taken up by the MSHRC. While Dr Ling was placed under suspension, Dr Shirodkar was transferred to Cooper Hospital after Payal committed suicide in May.

Seven months after Dr Payal Tadvi committed suicide due to alleged caste-based harassment at the hands of three resident doctors at the B Y L Nair Hospital, the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) gave a clean chit to two department heads for want of “linking evidence”.

The commission stated that Payal’s family could not produce documentary proof of written complaints to the two faculty heads against the ragging that she was facing for over a year. The commission also raised questions over how Payal’s family did not take any action despite knowing the gravity of the situation.

“The two doctors, through their lawyers, have explained the circumstances and put forth their side. They conveyed that they never received any written complaint from Dr Payal Tadvi or her family,” said MSHRC chairperson M A Sayeed.

According to Sayeed, Payal’s husband and mother could not show any documents that they had submitted to the two department heads.

“Dr Payal Tadvi’s husband is a government employee and well aware that there are anti-ragging cells that can take preemptive action. However, no complaints were made to either of the two heads of the department,” Sayeed said.

Dr Yi Ching Ling and Dr S D Shirodkar, as faculty heads, were named as accused in the case taken up by the MSHRC. While Dr Ling was placed under suspension, Dr Shirodkar was transferred to Cooper Hospital after Payal committed suicide in May.

Dr Salman Tadvi, Payal’s husband, however, said the state was making them a scapegoat. “We never gave a written complaint because we were continuously assured that our complaints will be heard and considered. We all were worried that giving a written complaint would impact her (Dr Payal Tadvi) career and increase the wrath of the seniors who were ragging her,” he said.

Payal’s mother Abeda, who had deposed before the MSHRC and was cross-examined by the lawyers, told the panel that they had met both the faculty heads, alerted them of the situation and, in return, were assured that action will be taken.

“We never escalated the issue because we were told that it will be handled. That’s why we didn’t go to the anti-ragging cell. The cell should have taken action before the ragging happened,” Salman said.

Payal hanged herself in her hostel room at Nair hospital on May 22 after being allegedly harassed by three resident doctors, Dr Hema Ahuja, Dr Bhakti Mehare and Dr Ankita Khandelwal. The doctors, who allegedly made casteist remarks against her, had allegedly been ragging Payal for over a year. They are out on bail since August.

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