PETALING JAYA: The Magistrate's Court has discharged a psychiatrist accused of insulting the modesty of a former patient because the Deputy Public Prosecutor did not have the investigation papers during case mention.
According to lawyer Francis Pereira, who held a watching brief for the victim, the Magistrate granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal of the accused on Monday (Jan 13).
"We are both surprised and disappointed at this outcome that due to a technicality, a discharge was granted," he said.
In October last year, the psychiatrist Dr Gurdeep Singh was charged under Section 509 of the Penal Code for insulting the modesty of a former patient.
Section 509 of the Penal Code covers the offence of insulting a person's modesty, and is punishable by a jail term of up to five years or fine or both.
Francis said that it took a lot for victims of sexual harassment to speak up.
He said it was a huge blow to the victims when a case gets thrown out because of a technical matter.
"My client is young lady confronting her psychiatrist who allegedly sexually harassed her. The court system should be less zealous in granting discharge on such grounds," he said.
In July last year, the Kota Damansara Thomson Hospital said it terminated the services of the consultant psychiatrist after he was accused of sexually harassing a patient.
In addition, the hospital said that the case had been referred to the police and the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) for further action.
According to the hospital, it had suspended the psychiatrist on July 6 pending an internal inquiry following a complaint from the patient.
After the inquiry was conducted, the management decided to terminate the psychiatrist's services.
"We would like to emphasise that the complaint was taken seriously and immediate action was taken according to due process to safeguard the safety and confidentiality of our patients, doctors and employees," the hospital said.