Superintendent of Bhopal’s Hamidia Zanana Hospital, Dr Karan Pipre was candid enough to admit that medical examination of victims in sensitive medico-legal cases were being routinely done by inexperienced PG students.
Former director, medico-legal institute, Dr D S Badkul pointed out that there is a 100- page detailed guideline and protocol issued by the Union ministry of health and family welfare that should be followed in “medico-legal cases for survivor/victim of sexual violence”.
“But no one follows it,” Dr Badkul said. “The work of the doctor is not to judge whether sex was consensual or not, but find evidence of rape.”
Dr Pipre said from now on only senior doctors would do medical report in serious cases.
HC takes cognizance
The Madhya Pradesh high court has taken suo moto cognizance of the matter and is likely to issue a notice to the state government on Monday.
Quoting HT report of November 10 with the heading “Bhopal gang-rape: Junked medical report said sex was consensual, Congress alleges cover-up,” the court’s principal registrar has listed the matter for hearing on Monday.
A 19-year-old civil services aspirant was raped allegedly by four rag-pickers close to the government railway police’s Habibganj station in Bhopal on October 31.
The government on Saturday suspended two post-graduate doctors who had examined gang-rape victim and prepared a report stating that ‘sex was consensual’ have been suspended, while the senior gynaecologist, who was supposed to oversee their work, has been served with show-cause notice.
Dr Khushbu had earlier told HT that they have “learnt from their mistake”.
“I had too much work on my hand and rushed through while writing the report and that is how the error crept in,” she told HT. “No one forced me to do the report, but I did not know how to write the report correctly, and my English is also weak”.
The two inexperienced PG students were given the task of preparing the medical report in the sensitive gang rape case of a 19-year old UPSC aspirant, which they had badly botched up, leading to wide-spread condemnation.
But, what they did is not unusual in hospitals in Bhopal, doctors told HT.
“Senior doctors avoid writing the medical report because invariably when these cases come up in court the defense lawyer cross-examines the doctor who writes the medical report,” a practicing gynaecologist said on condition of anonymity. She said as doctors consider going to court to give evidence as a waste of time, so they make the PG students, who cannot refuse the senior doctors, do the work.
“Ideally, what is being written should be seen by the senior doctors, but they often do not, leading to goof-ups similar to what happened in the gang-rape case” the doctor said.