File Number: Med19/452P
Practitioner: Rakesh Chawdhry
Hearing Start Date:
Hearing End Date:
Legislation – breach of Crimes Act 1961 (Established)
Sexual misconduct - indecent assault (Established)
Sexual Violation (Established)
Name Suppression to Complainant and/or Patient and/or client
Permanent name suppression to all complainants under the criminal proceedings and any identifying details.
Precis of Decision:
At a hearing held in Wellington on 09 September 2019 the Health Practitioner’s Disciplinary Tribunal (the Tribunal) considered a charge laid by the Professional Conduct Committee appointed by the Medical Council of New Zealand against Doctor Rakesh Chawdhry (the Doctor) of Christchurch.
The charge alleged that the Doctor’s conduct reflected adversely on his fitness to practise. The charge showed that the Doctor had been convicted in the District Court in Christchurch of 13 counts of indecent assault and one count of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. All the victims were the Doctor’s patients.
Following a Judge alone trial the Doctor was found guilty. He was subsequently sentenced to 4 years 4 months imprisonment and ordered to make emotional harm payments of $22,000 to 10 of the complainants.
The hearing proceeded on the basis of an agreed summary of facts. Neither the Doctor nor his counsel attended the hearing, however they did make written submissions to the Tribunal.
The Tribunal found that the charge was made out and the Doctor’s conduct undoubtedly reflected on his fitness to practise. The Tribunal noted that the offences were gross breaches of trust and were repeated over a sustained period of time. The Tribunal agreed that disciplinary sanction should follow.
The Tribunal censured the Doctor and cancelled his registration. A condition was also imposed on the Doctor to be satisfied before applying for re-registration should the Doctor choose to do so. The Tribunal ordered the Doctor to pay a total contribution of 30% towards the costs of the Tribunal and the PCC. This amounted to $10,556.33.