The Doctor: Did He, Or Didn’t He?
The cases of a Delhi doctor facing rape charges and a shrink who faced up to  five years in jail as per German law
 
These are two cases involving two doctors, one in India and the other in Germany. One a sad episode in everyday life, the other would be funny—if it were not equally distasteful. 
 
A doctor in a Delhi hospital is charged with rape. The accuser is a nurse in the same hospital. Seems like an everyday story. The doctor gets intimate with a girl under his control by taking advantage of the situation. The girl is pressured into submitting. One day, she decides to complain. The doctor is arrested. He is brought to trial. Open and shut case with the strict Indian laws in place.
 
As in all such cases, the accusing female is cross-examined. Often, it is carried out in camera; that means in a court without the public and without reporters. The intention is to save the victim from further humiliation. All depends on the cross-examination and witnesses, if any.
 
This Delhi doctor got lucky. The girl in the box not only admitted to consensual sex but also admitted to complaining out of pique, goaded on by friends.
 
You be the judge on this one. What about the poor doctor?
 
Surely the doctor was not guilty and the court acquitted him. But, this time, the court rightly went a step further. 
 
Moneylife readers of this page will recall the oft-repeated plea for action against malicious prosecution and frivolous litigation. A piece of legislation that is simply overlooked by the harassed. The court did not wait for the doctor to make up his mind. It gave him the permission to proceed against the girl; the reason being that the doctor had not only suffered trauma but his practice could be ruined by damage to his reputation. A bold step by the judge; thereby preventing the doctor’s time and energy being wasted in seeking necessary permission from the Advocate General. 
 
As the American judge, Benjamin Cardozo had said, “A judge needs only two qualities, honesty and courage.” This Delhi judge had both.
 
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder. A person with that problem thinks he is someone other than who he really is. Sometimes, he might think that he is more than two persons, maybe three or more. In common parlance, it is called split personality or multiple personalities. 
 
A woman in Germany thought she was four different persons at different times. Monika, her real name, thought she was also Kathrin, Finja and Leonie. Each one was, in her mind, a different person and each had a distinct personality. She went to see a doctor, a year younger than she. The doctor studied each personality and acted accordingly. Finja was made to shop for him. Leonie paid for his Mediterranean vacation. Kathrin was for more intimate stuff.
 
One day, Monika came to her senses and accosted the doctor. The psychotherapist was charged. But he had an excuse. He refused to discuss the patient’s case for reasons of confidentiality. In fact, he cited four reasons; four patients and four confidentialities. After all, a doctor is bound by his oath.
 
You be the judge. How would you decide?
 
The court would have none of this. Our shrink faced up to five years in jail as per German law. This doctor, a person who has the life of a patient in his hands, misuses the trust placed in him, should be tried for rape, because that is what it was. Lecherous doctor and incapable victim. A sad commentary on a supposedly noble profession.
 
What was not reported was whether the culprit had taken his fees from Monika or Kathrin or Finja or Leonie.
 
Most likely, he must have taken from all four! And told each one not to mention anything to the other? Confidentiality, you know!
 
(Bapoo Malcolm is a practising lawyer in Mumbai. Please email your comments to [email protected])
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