The Bombay High Court has said the police should have informed the Medical Council of India and the Medical Council of Maharashtra about the arrest of three doctors – Ankita Khandelwal, Hema Ahuja and Bhakti Mehare – in connection with the suicide of Dr Payal Tadvi at a Mumbai hospital in May, Live Law reported on Friday. The court made the observation during proceedings the day before.
The three doctors were arrested on May 29, seven days after Tadvi committed suicide after allegedly facing casteist abuse from them at the Topiwala National Medical College, where she worked. A special court hearing the case denied the accused bail last month.
Justice SS Jadhav, who heard the matter on Thursday, asked special prosecutor Raja Thakare whether the police had informed the two councils. “No, they have not,” Thakare said. “It should have been done,” Jadhav replied.
“What do you do in such cases?” the judge asked, according to The Indian Express. “Do you take up cases with medical councils? It has been more than a month, why have you not informed the medical council about this?”
Thakare said the investigation would be completed within two weeks. The judge also issued a notice to Tadvi’s mother, the complainant in the case. The matter will be heard next on July 16.
Meanwhile, The Times of India reported that the three accused had destroyed a suicide note left behind by Tadvi, who allegedly blamed them for her death. Photographs of the note were recovered from Tadvi’s phone by forensic scientists, the newspaper quoted police officials as saying.
The suicide note details the abuse and harassment Tadvi allegedly faced at the hands of the three doctors. The police submitted a confidential report containing their findings to the court on Thursday.