Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Court of Appeal orders Bhagat reinstatement

The Court of Appeal on Friday reversed the judgment handed down by a subordinate court barring Dr Kiran Bhagat from practicing medicine in Botswana.

The High Court recently barred Bhagat from practicing as a specialist physician and cardiologist, saying that his qualifications as a professional doctor were not satisfactory.

“After careful consideration, I have come clearly to the conclusion that the matter should not be remitted to the Botswana Health Professions Council. In my view this court is fully justified in making the decision itself rather than remitting the matter to BHPC for consideration of the decision it took because in my view all judicial considerations have been explored,” argued a panel of three judges.

They said “for all these reasons the appeal is allowed.”

Unsatisfied by Justice Michael Leburu’s ruling, Bhagat, who was not in Court on Friday, approached the Court of Appeal at which Justice Abernethy, McNally and Ramodibedi would come to his rescue.
Besides declaring Bhagat as a duly registered medical practitioner, the judges also ruled that he was entitled to practice the profession of medicine in the country, quashing the decision taken by the BHPC in early March, prohibiting him from registering as a specialist and cardiologist while at the same time restricting the scope of his medical practice to that of a general physician.

“BHPC is directed to recognize the appellant as a specialist medical practitioner who is qualified and entitled to be registered and to practice as such and call himself a specialist physician and cardiologist,” the panel insisted, urging BHPC to make necessary entry in its register of medical practitioners to record that Bhagat is registered by BHPC as a specialist physician and cardiologist.

Zimbabwean-born Bhagat is now naturalized and resides in Botswana.

Bhagat’s qualifications and registration in the medical fraternity grabbed local frontline pages when, out of the blue, the BHPC cast doubt over his credentials, maintaining that the doctor purported to be Koushik Baghat- his duly registered cousin with whom he shares same initials and who has since relocated overseas.

“Upon payment of necessary fees, BHPC is ordered to issue Bhagat forthwith with a permission to practice certificate or a card reflecting that the applicant is registered and entitled to practice as a specialist and cardiologist for the period April 1 to March 31 2012 and a registration certificate setting out his status as a specialist and cardiologist,” the judges ordered, to the amusement of Bhagat’s lawyers, Adrian de Bourbon and Kamushinda.

The BHPC was ordered to pay costs.

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