Bombay High Court seeks probe report on doctor’s acquittal

, TNN | Jun 15, 2012,

MUMBAI: The Bombay high courthas called for the inquiry report into the case where a Solapur doctor, accused of conducting sex determination tests and not maintaining records, was let off in default after the additional public prosecutor (APP) remained absent during hearing of an appeal.A division bench of Justices Sharad Bobde and Mridula Bhatkar was hearing a public interest litigation filed by activist Prakash Pise urging the court to direct action against APP Madhusudan Sadafule. A magistrate on May 24, 2007, directed issue of process to begin trial against Dr Manashi Shaha under the Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition) Act. On May 30, 2009, the additional session judge quashed and set it aside the magistrate’s order while hearing Shaha’s appeal. The judge noted that the “APP did not turn up for argument or even file application for adjournment” and even calls to him were in vain.

On what action had been taken against Sadafule for his “alleged misdeeds”, additional government pleader Aruna Pai said no work was being assigned to him until further orders. She said an inquiry ordered was completed and the report would be placed before the high-power committee, principal secretary (law and judiciary) and advocate-general for making appropriate recommendations. “They are yet to meet,” said Pai.

The judges said disciplinary action has to be taken as the matter could not be allowed to go to the extent of acquittal by default because of the APP’s conduct. “It will create suspicion in minds. We’ll not allow it. Who appoints such advocates? We don’t know,” said Justice Bobde.

Sadafule was present in court. His advocate said Sadafule appears in PCPNDT matters but he was told not to appear in this matter by the government pleader and he returned the brief. “Do you have a duty or not?” asked Justice Bobde. On whether there was any communication in writing, his advocate replied in the negative. “Show us contemporary information that you were told not to appear,” said Justice Bobde. The judges said there was a procedure for returning briefs. “This appears very mysterious to us. Somebody or the other is responsible for this default acquittal and asked to put blame,” said the judge.

The judges directed the inquiry report to be placed at the next nearing on June 28.


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