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Gandhinagar: Apollo sweeper gets 7 years jail for raping dengue patient in ICU; Pak-origin doctor on the run

The victim, a 19-year-old dengue patient, accused Chandrakant Vankar, the hospital sweeper, of raping her twice. Dr. Ramesh Chauhan, a Pakistani doctor allegedly employed without proper authorization, was also charged with raping the patient.

Gandhinagar Apollo sweeper gets 7 years jail for raping dengue patient in ICU; Pak-origin doctor on the run
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First Published Jan 3, 2024, 2:50 PM IST

In a significant legal development, a Gandhinagar district court on Tuesday delivered justice by sentencing a sweeper employed at Apollo Hospital to seven years of imprisonment for raping a 19-year-old dengue patient in September 2016. The case also involved a Pakistani doctor, Dr. Ramesh Chauhan, who was charged with rape but absconded after being released on bail during the trial. The incident not only highlighted the heinous nature of the crime but also raised concerns about the unauthorized employment of doctors of Pakistani origin in private hospitals.

The victim, a 19-year-old dengue patient, accused Chandrakant Vankar, the hospital sweeper, of raping her twice. Dr. Ramesh Chauhan, a Pakistani doctor allegedly employed without proper authorization, was also charged with raping the patient. Adalaj police took immediate action upon receiving the complaint, invoking provisions of the Atrocities Act as the victim belonged to the SC/ST community. Dr. Chauhan, with a residential permit for Ahmedabad city, faced additional charges under the Foreigner's Act for unauthorized employment.

The court declared Dr. Chauhan an absconder after he disappeared following his release on bail and failed to attend the trial. The sweeper, Chandrakant Vankar, faced trial separately. Public prosecutor Pritesh Vyas presented a compelling case, examining 23 witnesses and providing 35 documentary pieces of evidence to establish Vankar's guilt. The court found Vankar guilty under Section 376 (c)(d) of the IPC, which pertains to sexual intercourse by a person in authority on the management of a hospital. The prosecution demanded maximum punishment, emphasizing the severity of the offense committed by hospital employees, breaching the trust placed in a corporate hospital.

Additional sessions judge D K Soni handed down a seven-year imprisonment sentence to Chandrakant Vankar and fined him Rs 2,000. Recognizing the trauma suffered by the victim, the court also ordered compensation of Rs 20,000 to be paid to her. This ruling sends a strong message about the consequences of such heinous crimes and emphasizes the importance of maintaining trust in healthcare institutions.

The incident stirred controversy and raised concerns about the illegal employment of doctors of Pakistani origin in private hospitals. Following the controversy, several doctors with degrees from Pakistan were retrenched from their positions due to their lack of qualification to practice in India. Dr. Ramesh Chauhan, too, had to resign from Apollo Hospital.

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