Court quashes suspension of doctor
SHOPIAN RAPE AND MURDER CASE
Srinagar, June 1: The High Court has quashed the suspension of a doctor in the alleged Shopian double rape and murder case of Asiya Jan and Neelofar in 2009.
While hearing the petition seeking quashment of the suspension order of Dr Nighat Shaheen, Justice Hakeem Imtiyaz Hussain observed that suspension of the medico was prolonged and punitive in nature. “I find the prolonged suspension is punitive in nature and cannot, therefore, be allowed to continue. The same is set aside.”
The Government had suspended two doctors, Dr Nighat Shaheen and Dr Bilal Ahmad, who had conducted the postmortem of the victims, for “professional incompetence and negligence” on June 24, 2009.
The decision to suspend Dr Nighat Shaheen and Dr Bilal Ahmed was taken after the judicial commission set up to probe the case indicted the police, civil administration, Forensic Science Laboratory and the medical team for serious lapses in investigations and postmortem procedure.
Subsequently, Dr Nighat filed a petition before the High Court through Advocate Syed Riyaz Khawar to challenge her suspension.
Later, state government initiated departmental inquiry against the suspended doctors on May 26, 2010 for ‘fabricating the evidence’ in rape and murder of the two women.
Praying the suspension to be quashed, Advocate Khawar said his client was suspended on behest of Jan Commission, the other recommendations of which were “neglected” by the state government.
Khawar said the suspension was prolonged, punitive and departmental enquiry was not concluded within reasonable time. Khawar also said the suspension was based on malafide, non-application of mind on part of the Health and Medical Education Department.
Justice Imtiyaz quoting an Apex court judgement while setting the suspension order aside said: “It is a clear principle of natural justice that the delinquent officer when placed under suspension is entitled to represent that the departmental proceedings should be concluded with reasonable diligence and within a reasonable period of time. If such a principle was to be recognized, it would imply that the executive (state government) is being vested with a totally arbitrary and unfettered power of placing its officer under disability and distress for an indefinite duration.”
Court said since the state government had not filed any reply “there is no option but to accept the averments made in the petition. From the pleadings on file, I find the petitioner is under suspension since 24.6.2009,” court said and quashed the suspension order.
CBI had said that false post mortem reports were prepared by a team of doctors comprising Dr Nighat Shaheen, Dr Ghulam Qadir Sofi and Dr Maqbool Mir in connivance with Dr Ghulam Muhammad Paul.
Neelofar, 22, and her 17-year old sister-in-law Asiya Jan were found dead on May 30, 2009 off a stream in Shopian, triggering a major uprising in the Kashmir Valley amid allegations that the woman had been raped and murdered.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 1 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 2 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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