2 charges of ‘infamous and disgraceful conduct’ for doctor in race-talk probe
DR AVINASH Sawh faces two charges of “infamous and disgraceful” conduct.
Sawh, who was accused of making racist statements in phone calls with a former employee, has also been told the Medical Board has set up a tribunal.
The board hopes the tribunal can hold its first meeting on July 2.
The board’s attorney Rajiv Persad told the San Fernando-based doctor of the board’s latest decision on the allegations against him on Friday.
It is alleged that Sawh’s conduct in the recording of the telephone call “may have amounted to infamous and disgraceful conduct under Section 24 of the Medical Board Act,” and that after issues were raised by outsiders, he “posted on social media certain tweets that are attributed to your name and which are capable of amounting to infamous and disgraceful conduct you being a member of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago.”
Sawh’s attorney Martin George said on Monday he will be meeting with his client to discuss the latest development.
In March, the board wrote to George saying it had decided to start its own probe into Sawh, after agreeing there was a procedural flaw in the receipt of the original complaint against him.
Persad, in his letter, said the council’s decision to set up the tribunal became necessary because Sawh, as was his right, was challenging and disputing a number of matters raised in the complaints.
“It is felt that in the circumstances the setting up of a tribunal is sensible in that it will allow you and or your representative to put before the tribunal any and all concerns that you may have, relative to the allegations that are being made against you.”
Persad said at the tribunal, Sawh or his representative will be allowed to challenge material, give evidence and make whatever representations he thinks necessary to assist the tribunal in its deliberations.
Accompanying the letter was a bundle of material which included e-mails, letters, newspaper clippings and other material that the board received on the issue.
Sawh came under heavy public scrutiny after he was heard making racist and derogatory comments to one of his employees in a phone call last November.
In the recording, when the employee threatened to have the police intervene, Sawh referred to policemen as “dunce n—ers” and to Afro-Trinidadians as “monkeys.”
Sawh later apologised to the woman and anyone else offended by his comments.
His attorneys have since maintained that Sawh was being asked to respond to “hypothetical and speculative” material because it appeared the council did not know if the person in the voice recording was in fact their client, or if the recorded conversation was genuine.
Nature of Charge – Infamous or Disgraceful Conduct – Section 24(5)(i)
Particulars of Charge: – It is alleged that you Dr Avinash Sawh while being a member of the Medical Board participated in a conversation which was recorded and put into the public domain in which you made comments that are capable of amounting to infamous and disgraceful conduct you being a member of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago.
Nature of Charge – Infamous or Disgraceful Conduct – Section 24(5)(i) Particulars of Charge: – It is alleged that you Dr Avinash Sawh while being a member of the Medical Board posted on social media certain tweets that are attributed to your name and which are capable of amounting to infamous and disgraceful conduct you being a member of the Medical Board of TT.
BY: JADA LOUTOO
Trinidad and Tobago