The Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to the three doctors accused in the Payal Tadvi suicide case on strict conditions, Bar and Bench reported. They were asked to appear before the Crime Branch on alternate days and will not be allowed inside BYL Nair Hospital, where Tadvi used to work under them.
Hema Ahuja, Bhakti Meher, and Ankita Khandelwal were arrested in May for casteist abuses that allegedly made Tadvi kill herself on May 22. They had earlier denied the accusations and demanded a “fair inquiry”. A special court had dismissed their bail plea in June.
The Mumbai Police had last month filed a 1,203-page chargesheet in the case, naming the three doctors for offences under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and the Information Technology Act, 2000. The doctors have also been accused of abetment of suicide and destruction of evidence.
In the chargesheet, the police attached statements from nearly 180 witnesses in addition to the suicide note recovered from Tadvi’s mobile phone. The witnesses include those who were present when the doctors allegedly shouted at Tadvi, and later she committed suicide the same day. The police also compiled the statements of colleagues, other staff members and seniors of the hospital.
On Tuesday, police had informed the court that they had prepared a letter recommending an inquiry against Yi Ching Ling, the head of the gynaecology and obstetrics department at BYL Nair Hospital. Tadvi’s mother had approached Yi several times with complaints and has accused her of shirking responsibility. But Yi has claimed that she was never informed about this.