Psychiatrist accused of molesting his patient
By Sharmeen Hakim
September 11, 2019
A well-known psychiatrist from Lokhandwala was recently accused of molesting a 34-year-old patient, an architect from Kandivali. The complainant was suffering from post-partum depression. She accused him of touching her inappropriately during a session.
The Versova police booked Dr Rajiv Anand under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code; early on August 30, after the woman and her architect husband approached them.
On his part Anand, 67, who shares the Lokhandwala clinic with his daughter, admitted treating the woman and the broad sequence of events leading up to the incident, but he denied touching her inappropriately.
In her statement to the police, the woman, who lives with her husband, three-year-old daughter and motherin-law, said she underwent treatment for depression in Borivali for three years before finding Dr Anand through an internet search.
“My husband dropped me to his clinic for the first time on August 20. I was given basic treatment and shown motivational videos,” she said.
She again visited the clinic on August 23 and 26th. On August 29 she arrived at around 7 pm and was called into the clinic at 8 pm.
During the session she told Dr Anand the medication he had prescribed was making her sleep too long. He said he would change it. She was then asked to go to another room and listen to an audio clip. “The audio had nothing to do with treating my depression. It was about ways to please the husband and keep him happy,” she said. The victim left the room to inform Dr Anand it was the wrong clip. He asked her, “Do you trust me?” and told her to close her eyes. “He touched my ears, cheeks, neck, and then put his hand in my shirt,” she said.
“I asked him to remove his hands, quickly paid the money and fled.” The architect called her husband and the the two approached the police.
When Mirror contacted Dr Anand, who has been practising psychiatry for 38 years, he said he had only begun treating the woman for “obsessive compulsive neurosis with postpartum depression”, and had at no point touched her inappropriately.
The prescription says Dr Anand is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and marriage and sex counsellor.
He said when the alleged incident took place his daughter was sitting in the next room and several other patients were waiting outside. “During my sessions, which don’t go beyond half an hour, I first have a short conversation with the patient, and then send them to the other room to listen to a scientific audio recorded in my own voice. Then I summarise the video for them.”
Dr Anand said he couldn’t recollect which audio file he had asked the woman to listen to, but it would have provided “emotional balance”. When she came out of the room she looked “distracted and disturbed”, he said. The doctor said that’s when he asked her if he could touch her forehead and eyes to help calm her mind.
“I touched her forehead and eyes as softly as possible for 60 to 90 seconds. And if this demonstration, with her consent, is molestation, I feel helpless about it. This will ruin my reputation,” he said.
Dr Anand also said she may have misinterpreted the audio.