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Doctor cleared of sexual harassment charges after 12 long years

Mumbai: Dr Kulvindersingh Banga, a senior doctor of Nair Hospital Dental College, has been cleared of the sexual harassment charges levied against him by a colleague, 12 years after the female doctor had first lodged the complaint. The division bench comprised of Justice Anoop Mohta and Justice Amjad Sayed.

“From the tenor and contents of the complaint, we find that (her) grievance against Dr Banga, was more in the nature of a grievance from a junior against her senior employee and she had some apprehension as regards some adverse action which may be taken against her by him, if he were to be promoted and made HoD. We find the timing of the complaints rather curious as (both) have admittedly known each other for years together since college days and have also worked thereafter in the same department for almost a decade.” the HC said.

Keeping in view the timing of the complaint, the counsel for Dr Banga, comprising of advocates, were of the opinion that the false allegations made were motivated with the intent to deprive the doctor of his promotion as HoD the following year.

“If she is not comfortable working under Dr Banga, it would be open for her to make representation to the corporation for her transfer to another department/college of the (BMC), which shall considered sympathetically and in accordance with law.” the judges said, rejecting the complainant doctor’s plea to stay the order.

Three female students at the hospital’s medical college also accused Dr Banga of misbehaviour, after the female doctor had lodged a complaint in May 2004 with the then BMC commissioner. A committee set up under then deputy municipal commissioner Dr Alka Karande in its report in 2006 did not find any truth in the allegations, though a recommendation was made to stop Dr Banga’s increment for one year. In 2013, a magistrate acquitted Dr Banga in the criminal case lodged against him.

The court also paved the way for Dr Banga’s promotion and directed the BMC to issue the order appointing him as head of department of conservative dentistry.