A dubious case: from hospital to court

Harassment case against surgeon lands in court after complainant drops charges.


Mudassir Raja August 22, 2011

RAWALPINDI:


After a leading educational institute, a government hospital is now in the limelight for sexual harassment. However, the case has come to the fore due to the dubious nature of the proceedings rather than harassment itself.


A female doctor accused a surgeon in Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) of harassing her in the operation theatre (OT). The BBH administration set up an inquiry committee to ascertain the facts against a senior registrar of the surgical unit, official sources said.

However, official documents available with The Express Tribune reveal that the complainant subsequently told the inquiry committee that she wanted to withdraw her complaint.

Hospital sources said the surgeon doctor and the lady doctor had developed relations. But when things got sore over some reason, the lady doctor accused her senior of harassment at workplace.

In her earlier complaint Dr ST alleged that on August 1, when she was assisting the surgeon in the OT, the surgeon closed the doors of the room and made sexual advancements towards her.

Following the complaint the medical superintendent of BB set up the inquiry committee to ascertain the facts and proceed against the surgeon under Protection Against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010.

The surgeon, in his defence, put forward witnesses, some doctors and female nurses, to prove the impudent attitude of the trainee doctor.

The doctor reportedly also kept on trying to make the complainant to take her application back. Later, the lady doctor asked the inquiry committee to drop her complaint against the surgeon.

After the committee refused to stop the proceedings against the surgeon, he approached the Lahore High Court (LHC) to declare the inquiry against him unlawful and illegal.

Making the Rawalpindi Medical College principal and BBH administration respondents, the doctor said there was no reason to conduct an inquiry after the complainant refused to follow up on her application. He has petitioned the LHC to direct the inquiry team not to take any adverse action against him till the petition is decided by the court.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 23rd, 2011.

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