The Hon’ble Justice Talapatra of the Tripura High Court, in the case of Dr Bishnu Chandra Dey v. the State of Tripura decided on whether an anticipatory bail to be given to medical practitioner allegedly performing pregnancy termination without the appropriate license.
Brief Facts of the Case
The officer-in-charge of RK Pur Police station on the information by the District Magistrate and Collector, Gomati Tripura, carried out a visit to the petitioner’s chamber for inspection. It was found that women were waiting for pregnancy termination. The informant who brought this chamber’s functioning to light has inquired with one of the patients of the petitioner that she had come for such termination to the doctor and while the informant inquired with the doctor about his credibility, he has stated clearly that he did not a government license. Further, an inquiry was made by the Chief Medical Officer, Gomati Tripura, and based on the same, the case was registered under Sec. 315 IPC and Sec. 4 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act.
Arguments Made by the Parties
The petitioner argued that allegations were concocted, since, he did not carry on any pregnancy termination in his chamber. Further, the petitioner is a registered medical practitioner and has retired from Tripura Health Service. It was also submitted that the District Collector and Magistrate lack the authority to inspect the petitioner’s chambers and hence, such inspection is unlawful which cannot form the basis of any prosecution. There is no evidence to prove that any illegal termination of pregnancy was conducted in the chambers. The counsel for petitioners referred to the decision of Siddharam Satlingappa Mhetre v. State of Maharashtra and Others and pointed out that if the facts of the particular case suggest that the accused has joined the investigation and is in full cooperation with the process, custodial interrogation should be avoided.
The learned Additional PP produced the case diary, investigation records which provide compelling evidence to prove that the petitioner was carrying out illegal pregnancy termination in complete disregard of Sec. 4 of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy act 1971, while specifically pointing out to the observation made by the medical officer who visited the chamber, the attendant and a patient who has stated that her pregnancy has been terminated by the petitioner. These materials are substantial enough to prove the allegations against the petitioner.
Further, the counsel pointed out that the inquiry committee that was constituted to investigate the matter faced complete disregard and no cooperation from the petitioner which shows the absence of bona fide.
The Court after having verified the records and materials submitted by the prosecution concluded that the facts of the present scenario are not such that the discretion of the Court under Sec. 438 CrPC has to be exercised in favour of the petitioner.
The petitioner may apply for an ordinary bail from the Court of Magistrate as per the due process; however, the conduct of the petitioner throughout preliminary inquiry reflects a character that does not inflict confidence in respect to cooperation with the investigation. Additionally, the nature of the offence, abortion in defiance of due process, is heinous. Therefore, the anticipatory bail petition was rejected.
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