In an unprecedented event, Amreli sessions court in Gujarat today sentenced the BJP MP Naranbhai Kachhadia to three years’ imprisonment for assaulting a doctor at a government hospital on January 1, 2013. Judge D R Bhatt also imposed a fine of Rs 35,000 on him.
The court stayed the sentence for a month so as to enable Kachhadia and other convicts to approach the High Court against the conviction.
Kachhadia, a two-term MP from Amreli, might also face disqualification under The Representation of The People Act as per the July 2013 judgment of the Supreme Court. Kachhadia and others were accused of beating up Bhimjibhai Dabhi, a doctor at Amreli civil hospital, on January 1, 2013, for refusing to attend to a BJP worker’s relative.
Dr. Dabhi asked the patient to wait as he was attending to another person. The patient called up Kachhadia who came to the hospital and beat up Dr. Dabhi, apart from hurling casteist abuse. Dr. Dabhi belongs to a scheduled caste. A case was registered under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the IPC.
The court acquitted the MP of the charge under the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, but awarded him three years’ imprisonment for ‘voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant doing his duty’, and ‘using force or violence through unlawful assembly’.
Four others — Kirit Bhamja, Madhu Joshi, Ravi Joshi and the MP’s driver were also sentenced to three years’ prison term.
After so many incidents of Attack On Doctors, Medical Fraternity is considering this ruling of the sessions court as a landmark step towards the security of Doctors. This will give a message. Though still the case will move to High Court but the first step gave Dr. Dhabhi a relief.