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Sunday, January 12, 2014

India-born doctor acquitted of sexual assault charges

London -- An Indian-origin doctor in Britain was cleared of sexual assault charges after a tribunal found the alleged victim's evidence unreliable.
The 42-year-old woman claimed that Kolkata-born doctor Abhijit Banerjee, 42, locked the consulting room door at Abbeyview Surgery in Peterborough city of Cambridgeshire county, before asking her to remove her bra while he examined her chest, media reported Thursday.
But the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Thursday found her evidence unreliable.
The patient claimed that Banerjee had knelt on the floor while he cupped and squeezed her breast as he breathed “erratically”.
The tribunal was told that the lady had a history of chest problems and had consulted doctor Banerjee for a “thorough” chest examination presenting with an ongoing cough.
The doctor admitted to not providing a screen to protect the patient's privacy during consultation March 13, 2012, but the panel found this did not amount to misconduct.
The woman said she had taken more than 60 similar appointments because of her particular medical history but she said this time it “just felt wrong”.
“It was an examination like I had never had before. I felt very upset,” the Daily Mail quoted the woman as telling the tribunal.
“The position of me sitting on the couch with the doctor on his knees, and I could only see the top of his head, while holding my breast, just felt wrong,” she added.
The panel, chaired by John Donnelly, decided that there were too many questions over the reliability of the patient's evidence.
“The panel considered that she gave what she believed was a truthful account of what happened during your examination of her chest,” Donnelly told Banerjee.
“The panel finds that there are too many question marks surrounding patient A's (the patient is identified as A) overall credibility for it to put reliance on her evidence which is uncorroborated.”
All the temporary conditions that were imposed on Banerjee now have been lifted and the doctor can return to unrestricted practice.

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