After the Mumbai Police filed a 1,203-page-long charge sheet before a special court about a fortnight ago, the Bombay High Court has granted bail to all the three doctors who are main accused in the Payal Tadvi suicide case. Hema Ahuja, Ankita Khandelwal, and Bhakti Meher are senior doctors at the Topiwala National Medical College. Tadvi had joined a Post Graduate course in the same college and she has committed suicide, allegedly after the three doctors harassed her for belonging to a tribal community.

Justice Sadhana Jadhav granted bail on the condition that the three doctors shall not leave Mumbai without the permission of the Court, they shall report to the office of Crime Branch in Nagpada every alternative day till framing of charges and they shall not visit their college Topiwala National Medical College (Nair Hospital). The conditions also include that the doctors will have to submit a provisional cash surety of two lakh rupees within eight weeks. Finally, their medical license will be under suspension until the trial concludes.

Bombay High Court has granted bail to all the three doctors who are main accused in the Payal Tadvi suicide case. Hema Ahuja, Ankita Khandelwal, and Bhakti Meher are senior doctors at the Topiwala National Medical College.

The doctors were studying third-year of MD and have been in jail for almost 70 days since Tadvi’s death, after they were arrested on May 29. They moved the Bombay High Court after a special court rejected their bail pleas on June 24. Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare opined that the prosecution won’t be affected even if they come out on bail and also because they are all women. “Let them remain in public domain with this stigma and this order,” Justice Jadhav said. Advocates Aabad Ponda and Shailesh Kharat represented the three doctors.

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Earlier in July when the Mumbai Police filed the charge sheet, it also highlighted that the three-pages-long suicide letter that was recovered was in fact written by Tadvi. The police found the photos of the letter on Tadvi’s phone after which they matched the writing in her suicide note, with other samples of her writing, confirming its legitimacy. It also noted that there is strong evidence in the form of statements given by around 180 witnesses against the accused persons. These witnesses include Tadvi’s family members and colleagues. The accused doctors have been charged under abetment of suicide, destruction of evidence and common intent under IPC, Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and Information Technology Act.

Mumbai High Court granted bail on the condition that the three doctors shall not leave Mumbai without the permission of the Court, they shall report to the office of Crime Branch, Nagpada every alternative day till framing of charges, they shall not enter into the jurisdiction of Agripada Police Station and more particularly, Topiwala National Medical College (Nair Hospital).

Tadvi, who hailed from Jalgaon district of Maharashtra, joined the PG course on May 1, 2018. She did her MBBS from the Government Medical College in Miraj and then she went to Sangli for a year for her internship, before joining the PG course. When she had just joined the PG course and shifted to Mumbai, she was asked to share her room with Dr. Ahuja and Dr. Mehar. On May 22, her body was found hanging in her hostel room on the medical college’s premises.

Picture credit- Vishal Sonara/Twitter

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