JJ dean acquitted in ‘casteist slur’ case
THE Mumbai sessions court on Friday acquitted Dr. TP Lahane, the dean of JJ hospital, in a case where he was accused of verbally abusing a sweeper. Lahane’s lawyer, Swapna Kode, confirmed Lahane’s acquittal to mid-day.
In February 2014, an FIR was lodged against Lahane by Naresh Narayan Waghela, a Class IV sweeper employed at the hospital, who alleged Lahane had hurled a “casteist slur” at him. In March this year, Waghela had approached the sessions court wanting to withdraw the case. He was asked to file an application.
The court did not accept Waghela’s application on July 15, when he went to file it. Instead, they went on to file charges against Lahane. He was charged with 3 (1) (X) [any person not a member of SC/ST intentionally insults person of SC/ST on his caste in a public place/view], of the SC/ST Act. On August 21, Lalit Solanki, an eyewitness in the case, was declared hostile by the prosecution in court after he did not support its case.
mid-day’s July 16 report