Doctor barred from practicing in light of conviction for sexual misconduct by Superior Court of Fulton County, State of Georgia

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vibhu Bhakru, J., dismissed a writ petition filed by a doctor against the decision of Delhi Medical Council denying him a renewal of registration.

The petitioner practiced medicine for the last 30 years in India and outside. From 2004 to 2011, he was practicing in State of Georgia, USA. Thereafter, he moved to India and had been practicing in Delhi. He was registered with Delhi Medical Council. In May 2017, a news article appeared in The Indian Express alleging that the petitioner had been charged and indicted on various counts of sexual misconduct in State of Georgia. Delhi Medical Council declined to renew his registration for concealing the fact of his having been guilty in a court of law. Before the Superior Court of Fulton County, he pleaded guilty for sexual battery and unwarranted medical examination on women patients. He struck a plea bargain and his 12-month sentence was suspended on special conditions which inter alia included that he would not practice medicine in any form within the USA or in any other country. Taking note of the same, renewal of registration was denied and disciplinary proceedings were also commenced by Medical Council of India. Aggrieved by the same same, the petitioner filed the instant petition.

The High Court noted that the declaration made by the petitioner before Delhi Medical Council was false in as much as he concealed the fact of being subject to an inquiry in the State of Georgia. Reference was made to Regulations 7.4 and 7.5 of Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette, and Ethics) Regulations, 2002. In the facts of the case, the Court was convinced that the petitioner was guilty of acts of sexual misconduct and was convicted for an offence involving moral turpitude. Medical Council of India had erased his name from the Medical Register which was found justified. Therefore, the Court found no reason to interfere with the impugned order. Hence, the petition was dismissed. [N.K. Gupta v. Medical Council of India,2018 SCC OnLine Del 10132, dated 23-07-2018]

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