by Steven Ertelt
July 30, 2006
Suva, Fiji (LifeNews.com) — A Fiji court has denied bail for an abortion practitioner who was responsible for the botched abortion that killed a 20 year-old student. The Fiji Court of Appeal ruled on Friday that it would not grant bail for former Fiji Medical Association president Sachidar Nand Mudaliar.
In May, Mudaliar was found guilty in the death of student Poonam Kumar for a botched abortion he did on her in March 2003.
Mudaliar’s lawyers are appealing his three year sentence on a conviction of manslaughter and filed papers to challenge it.
"The seriousness of the offense and the strength of the prosecution case outweigh the likelihood of success on appeal and time that would be served is not such that would tip the balance in favor of the applicant," the court’s three judges ruled.
The appeal in the case will be heard in the appeals court in November, according to the Fiji Times newspaper.
Mudaliar lawyer Mehboob Raza claims the court and judge was biased against Mudaliar during the trial.
He indicated the trial was adjourned for 18 days after the Justice Anthony Gates indicated he had to leave the country on a trip. He also said the victim’s boyfriend was cited as an accomplice in the botched abortion, yet he was not charged in the case.
The Fiji government argued in response that the state proved its case and that an appeal is not warranted. As a result, it said Mudaliar should not be granted bail.
Officials found Kumar dead at Mudaliar’s abortion business in Nabua, after he left her overnight in his abortion business following her death.
Gates, in his ruling, said Mudaliar was guilty of botching the abortion and guilty of gross negligence in the case.
Gates said Mudaliar knew that Kumar was at risk if she underwent the abortion. She was 20 weeks pregnant at the time and had excessive bleeding and shock after the abortion. The abortion tore her uterus and led to the massive bleeding.
In his ruling, Gates cited Mudaliar’s failure to transfer Kumar to the intensive care unit at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital once he noticed the abortion went awry.