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PUCL, September 2003

Complaint against Dr. Pravin Togadia to the Medical Council of India

A note

Petition

To,
The President,
Medical Council of India,
Firoz Shah Kotla Road,
New Delhi – 2.

Subject: Lodging of Complaint against Dr. Pravin Togadia

Dear Sir/ Madam,

The present complaint is being lodged with a view to take action against Dr. Pravin Togadia who is registered with the Council. It is our submission that he has committed misconduct as defined under the Section 1.1.1& 1.1.2 and 5.1& 6.6 of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) and has also breached general Medical Ethics and deserves to be acted against and punished.

After the Godhra carnage on 27th February, 2002, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) gave a call for Gujarat Bandh on 28th February, 2002 which resulted in the death of about 2000 Muslims, rapes and gang rapes of Muslims women, destruction of thousands of houses and shops belonging to Muslims and destruction of about 250 cultural and religious monuments. The mobs, which committed these atrocities, were on many occasions led by VHP leaders. Dr. Togadia has been one of the chief spokesperson of VHP. At no time has the VHP or Dr. Togadia condemned this violence. On the other hand they have missed no opportunity to justify it. We also submit that Dr. Togadia is the International President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and is thus liable not only for his personal actions but also for the actions of the Vishva Hindu Parishad.

We would like to draw your attention towards Dr Togadia’s comments and actions and hence enlist these instances along with the regulations that it violate.

1.1 Character of Physician

1.1.1. A physician shall uphold the dignity and honour of his profession.

1.1.2 The prime object of the medical profession is to render service to humanity- …He shall keep himself pure in character and be diligent in caring for the sick; he should be modest, sober, patient, prompt in discharging his duty without anxiety; conducting himself with propriety in his profession and in all the actions of his life."

Source: The Indian Medical (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, 2002; Chapter-1 (Code of Medical Ethics); Section B. (Duties and Responsibilities of the Physician in General). Published in Part III, Section 4 of the Gazette of India dated 06.4.2002.

1. However, contrary to this on 28th February 2002 at 9 a.m. at Naroda behind State Transport Workshop in Ahmedabad Dr. Togadia instigated a mob which had gathered at the main chowk in front of Nataraj hotel wearing saffron scarves and khaki shorts. This was reported as the cover story named Saffron Terror by Praveen Swami dated 31st December, 2oo2. (Source: http:// www. Flonet/fll906/19060080.htm) (Annexure - 1)

1.A The Declaration required to be signed by any medical practitioner at the time of Registration states that:
“(2) Even under threat I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.
(4) I will not permit considerations of religion, nationality, race, party politics or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient.”

Source: The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002,Chapter 1(Code of Medical Ethics) Appendix-I. Published in Part III, Section 4 of the Gazette of India dated 06.4.2002.

2. Justice A. P. Ravani (a retired High Court Judge from Gujarat) testified before Citizens Tribunal about doctors being threatened against treating Muslim patients by VHP. He knew of one doctor in Shahibag area who attended to 17-20 deliveries of Muslim women staying in relief camps. The doctor was personally threatened by Dr. Togadia himself, “stop this, otherwise consequences will not be good “. Other doctors also received similar threats. This is in stark opposition to the above-mentioned declaration. (Source: Crime Against Humanity – Concerned Citizens Tribunal, Gujarat 2002. Volume-II, page: 118, 1.3 ) (Annexure-2)

3. Dr. Togadia runs a hospital called Dhanvantri Hospital in Ahmedabad. Doctors testified before the Citizen Tribunal that on February 28, Dr.Togadia had put an advertisement, which was telecast on Citicable in Ahmedabad asking all doctors and nurses to report to his hospital. Obviously this was done to keep Hindu doctors away from Muslim run hospitals or to treat Muslim patients through threats and warning. This also goes against the oath taken and declaration made. (Source: Crime Against Humanity – Concerned Citizens Tribunal, Gujarat 2002. Volume-II, page: 118, 1.2) (Annexure – 3)

Regulation 6.6 : Human Rights

“The physician shall not aid or abet torture nor shall be a party to either infliction of any mental or physical trauma or concealment of torture inflicted by some other person or agency in clear violation of human rights.”

Source: The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, Chapter -6 “Unethical Acts”. Published in Part III, Section 4 of the Gazette of India dated 06.4.2002.


4. In a press conference held on 14th December, 2002 at Jaipur Dr. Togadia stated “We will make a laboratory of the whole country. This is our promise and our resolve. If madrasas, the jehadi laboratory, are allowed to educate to kill non-Muslims. Why can’t we have our own laboratory? I cannot waste even two days in building the laboratory. Rajasthan has already become the laboratory of Hindutva…The people of Gujarat have paid their tribute to the Ram Bhaktas of Godhra. Gujarat has become the graveyard of secular ideology and we will extend it to Delhi via Jaipur.” The above was reported in the Hindustan Times issue of 16.12.02 which is annexed (Annexure - 4).

5 In addition to this, in a recorded video Dr. Togadia said (00:42:28) “It will be asked, who was shouting the slogans? Did the father-priest of America say it? Against Mohammed, they were only shouting words, slogans. Were they abusing Muslims? Were they doing good publicity for Muslims? Then they will say, no, they were not saying this, then which slogans were they shouting, they were shouting slogans of – Jai Shri Ram. Are if the slogan of Jai Shri Ram cannot be shouted in Godhara, then will we go to Mecca-Madina to shout them? And who are you to stop my slogan of Jai Shri Ram, we will thrash those who stop the slogan of Jai Shri Ram and send them to Pakistan.”
(Annexure –5)

5.1 Physicians as citizens

“They should play their part in enforcing the laws of the community and in sustaining the institutions that advance the interests of humanity …”

Source: The Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, Chapter -5 “Duties of physicians to the Public and to the Paramedical Profession. Published in Part III, Section 4 of the Gazette of India dated 06.4.2002.

On 17th December 2002 speaking at a meeting at Delhi Dr. Togadia said the following: “The Muslims here will enjoy the same place or status as Hindus enjoy in Pakistan, may be even slightly better status.” A copy of the 18th December 2002 issue of Hindu is annexed. (Annexure – 6)

In an interview given to Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Dr. Togadia made the following observations: “Globallyit is Muslims who are fighting everywhere, whether it is against the Christians in Chechnya and Bosnia, against the Jews in Israel or against the Roman Catholics in Philippines. Islam has an exclusive totalitarian system believing in jehad, terming the non-Muslims as Kafirs. This intolerance is basically responsible for the Hindu Muslim problem”. A copy of the interview is annexed. (Source: http:/www.milligazette.com/Archives/15102002/1510200233.htm) (Annexure –7)

8. In the recorded video mentioned earlier Dr. Togadia very suggestively said that (00:40:27): “The next day, 28th, the American leaders…all of them said – the Godhara murderers should be hung, they should be removed, what all they said. Gujarati newspapers also wrote, so did the newspapers in Delhi. One said that these people were coming from Ayodhya. They were coming from Ayodhya, that’s why the poor Muslims felt inflamed. And if, after feeling inflamed, they attack, it is not surprising at all. Meaning it is not those Muslims but we who are responsible for the attack on us. Are bhai, if they can feel inflamed by the Ayodhya trip, if you grant them the right to burn us alive, then, when returning from Mecca-Madina, what will happen?”(Annexure – 5, Footage of speech)

9. In the same document he further in an attempt to provoke the mass said (00:41:39)
“Another was saying, they were sermonizing, they were shouting slogans. Tell me, slogans that are shouted in the train, which can be heard by people on the streets and people did shout slogans, so are you saying that if someone shouts a slogan can the other feel inflamed and burn others alive? If this is the formula, that one is permitted to burn alive those who shout slogans, then we hear slogans at 5 in the morning, tell me, what should we do?” (Annexure- 5, Footage of the speech)

All the aforesaid clearly shows that Dr. Togadia was a clear participant in instigating Hindus to attack innocent Muslims and preventing Muslims from getting adequate medical relief. He has acted in a manner aiding and inflicting torture on innocent people and has aided and abetted in violation of the laws of the country. Hence, we believe that Dr. Togadia is guilty of having committed misconduct under the Medical Council rules and has breached the code of medical ethics as well as the Declaration required to be signed by him at the time of enrolment. He is guilty of having also committed violation of Sections 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code.

Accordingly, we from the medical fraternity do not find Dr.Pravin Togadia fit to continue as a doctor. We therefore request you to take appropriate disciplinary action against Dr. Togadia and cancel his registration.

Please treat this as very urgent and let us know as to what action you plan to take against Dr. Togadia.


Thanking you,

Yours truly,

MEDICO FRIEND CIRCLE
Registered Office: 11 Archana, Kanchanjanga Arcade, 163 Solapur Road, Pune 411028

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