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‘Gynaecologist’ convicted for killing woman

KARACHI, Jan 12: A lady health worker who posed as a gynaecologist was convicted for manslaughter as a district and sessions court found on Monday that the emergency Caesarean section case she handled in 2006 resulted in the death of her patient.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (east) Sanaullah Ghori sentenced the quack, Raheela Abidi, to five years in prison and imposed a fine of Rs50,000 as compensation to the victim’s family. In case of default, the convict would undergo an additional two-year imprisonment.

The judge pronounced the verdict after recording the final arguments from both sides. The court found her guilty of negligence in handling a Caesarean section case that caused the death of the patient at her clinic in Jan 2006.

The judge in his verdict observed that the prosecution had produced witnesses and documentary evidence in court which proved that the accused was not a doctor and that the victim died due to her negligence.

There was no major contradiction between the evidence of witnesses and prosecution story while no enmity was found between the accused and the complainant for implication of the accused in the case, the verdict added.

The judge concluded that after considering the material evidence he was of the considered view that the prosecution had proved its case against the accused beyond any shadow of doubt.

According to the prosecution, the accused, Raheela Abidi, wife of Ali Abidi, had posed as a doctor/gynaecologist and opened a clinic and maternity home in the limits of Model Colony police station.

On Jan 14, 2006, the complainant, Prince Peter, brought his pregnant wife, Rosemary, to the clinic with a complaint of abdominal pain. The patient was operated upon but she died during the “surgery” and Raheela was held responsible for showing negligence in handling the C-section delivery case.

A case (FIR11/06) was registered against the accused under Section 319 (manslaughter or qatl-i-khata) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Model Colony police station on the complaint of the victim’s husband. However, the accused got pre-arrest bail from a court of law.In the final arguments, the public prosecutor, Mohammad Arif Sitai, submitted that the prosecution had provided ample evidence against the accused to prove her involvement in the case.

He said that it was proved through the documentary evidence as well as the testimony of witnesses that the accused was a health worker and she, with criminal intentions, had posed as a gynaecologist and opened a maternity clinic.

He stated that that the victim died due to her negligence as she was not capable of conducting such operations since neither she was a doctor nor the clinic had the required equipment. He prayed to the court to award her maximum punishment.

However, the defence counsel argued that there was no evidence against the accused and the prosecution failed to establish its case. He prayed to the court to acquit his client.

After the verdict, the convict was taken into custody in the courtroom and sent to the prison along with the conviction warrant to serve her sentence.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/13/2009

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