Malaysia’s justice system has failed once again to protect vulnerable victims who have taken the courage to reach out for help.
Psychiatrist Dr Gurdeep Singh, who was arrested and charged in October 2019 for insulting the modesty of his rape patient using sexual words, has had all charges against him dropped by the magistrate on 13th January 2020.
This is because the Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) failed to have the Investigations Paper (IP) in court, prompting the judge to give a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).
In plain terms, Dr Gurdeep gets to walk free for now, but can be charged again as he has not been fully acquitted until such time the AG decides to charge him again.
Two lawyers representing Dr Gurdeep, Datuk Suraj Singh and Dinesh Ramachandran confirmed the matter, reported Malay Mail.
“The case got DNAA this morning since the Investigations Paper (IP) were not in court. So the judge gave a DNAA order,” Dinesh said.
“The court gave a DNAA because the IP was not ready. Very possible because it is not an acquittal… they can also re-charge (Dr Gurdeep),” Suraj said, adding that his team would make the necessary arrangement when the time comes.
The victim’s lawyer, Francis Pereira, said the DNAA came as a complete surprise and is looking into writing to the prosecutor’s office on whether they would re-charge Dr Gurdeep or not.
Disheartening news for the victim
Ms A, the victim involved in the case, told WORLD OF BUZZ that she is very disheartened by this piece of news.
“It took so much to speak up to begin with, so having the case thrown out before an opportunity for it to go to trial because of the tardiness of the DPP has been extremely disheartening and very difficult to process,” she said.
“It’s been a long and hard six months since the incident first happened. We’ve been nothing but extremely cooperative in working with the authorities.”
“On our end we’ve done everything right and it’s just been a waiting game. But with each new court date that’s given to us – it also means additional anxiety.”
“It feels like we’ve been failed over and over again by a system that is supposed to protect us.”
Can we really trust Malaysia’s justice system?
When the case was first reported, it was classified by the authorities as NFA (No Further Action). Only after an outcry from the media did the DPP decide to charge Dr Gurdeep for insulting the modesty of his patient.
However, when the AG Chambers were tardy in not showing up with the papers, the Magistrate court decided to dismiss the case, which shows the lack of effort and priority in following through with their initial action to charge Dr Gurdeep.
Besides the fact that the Investigations Paper wasn’t provided, which by now, the DPP should know is basic procedure, the court should have directed the DPP to track the file, instead of throwing out the matter entirely.
The victim’s lawyer, Francis Pereira, mentioned that up till now, “Dr Gurdeep has yet to be recharged.”
“This leaves Dr Gurdeep a free man who has the liberty to do whatever he wants and even leave the country if he wants to,” he said.
The court has failed to realise that real people’s issues are at stake and that striking off the case leaves victims feeling confused as to whether they can trust the legal system when it comes to matters like this. Not only has Ms A been victimised by Dr Gurdeep, she has also been victimised by the legal system.
They have to realise that it takes an immeasurable amount of courage and bravery for sexual harassment victims to speak out and ask for help, and to be told that justice is not being served to those who deserve it despite surmounting evidence, one can only wonder how humiliating and discouraging it must be for these victims.
Beyond just sending and receiving lewd pictures
It has been six months since the incident took place and Ms A is still deeply affected by it.
“What the psychiatrist has done is obviously very wrong. I’m deeply affected not because of the lewd pictures, but because he was a psychiatrist – someone that I went to when I was struggling badly with my mental health,” Ms A said.
“For him to abuse his position was terrible, which calls for disciplinary actions because he is definitely not fit to practice.”
“With our legal system not doing anything about this, it puts so many more already vulnerable people at a much bigger risk.”
With no disciplinary action taken against Dr Gurdeep, who knows how many perverted and twisted doctors out there could walk free, knowing that the legal system isn’t strict enough to enforce punishment on their unethical practices?
Dropping charges against Dr Gurdeep and letting him walk free despite sufficient evidence tells other sexual predators out there that it is okay to carry out their lewd behaviour on vulnerable victims, and it tells victims that reaching out for help is going to end in disappointment.
The question still remains, why is our legal system not stepping up to protect the people that need it the most?
Ms A shared this with us to “hold the court and the legal system accountable for their actions.”
She also reaches out to fellow Malaysians in hopes that public pressure will push the authorities to take this matter seriously and to follow through with their actions.
Sexual harassment is not a joke and the authorities should know better than to simply dismiss cases as they like.
Spread the word, and let’s hope this poses enough public pressure for the authorities to reopen the case.
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