The High Court has overturned the anonymity of a doctor in a Medical Council disciplinary hearing who faces two separate five-month prison sentences for traffic offenses and a conviction for drug possession.
t followed a successful application from Mediahuis Ireland, publisher of the Irish Independent and Independent.iethe order of anonymity from Dr. Annul Syed Waqa’s Ali Bukhari.
dr Bukhari, a surgical resident who until recently worked at Cavan General Hospital, was granted anonymity in the disciplinary proceedings against him under the Medical Practitioners Act 2007, unless the Supreme Court ruled otherwise.
That case has yet to be heard, but in the meantime the court agreed last December not to suspend him pending disciplinary hearing after he made certain promises, including not to break the Highway Code. The order of anonymity remained in place.
However, last July the Medical Council took the case back to court after learning that he had been driving again about eight weeks after the December ventures, during which time he was disqualified. He had been sentenced to a five-month suspended sentence for driving, which he is appealing. The High Court again agreed not to suspend him on further commitments.
An appeal challenging the severity of the five-month sentence and another related to offenses in 2021 for possession of cannabis, use of two false driver’s licenses and driving without insurance or a license were due to be heard in Cavan Circuit Court earlier this month.
However, he did not appear before the district court, which was told he had left for Pakistan because his grandmother was ill. The appeals were adjourned to a later date.
On Wednesday, the President of the High Court, Mr Justice David Barniville, overturned the order of anonymity in the disciplinary proceedings in a judgment.
He said further hearings could be held publicly and Mediahuis and others have the right to name and otherwise identify the doctor.
He agreed with Mediahuis that constitutional protection of press freedom is a very important protection in a constitutional democracy and an important factor to weigh in a motion like this. dr Bukhari also has very important constitutional rights to his good name, reputation and livelihood, he said.
However, he did not accept the argument on his part to separate his right to a good name and reputation as a doctor from his right to a good name and reputation as a private citizen, which he must weigh when deciding on this application.
In making that assessment, he had to consider the fact that Dr. Bukhari, in May 2022, committed and pleaded guilty to multiple serious traffic offenses and violations of the Drug Abuse Act, to which he was subject to bans from his profession and five months’ imprisonment in May 2022 and April or June 2022, which will be appealed .
All of these crimes took place in public and were tried in court, there have been a number of newspaper reports of these trials and it is inevitable that this will seriously damage his reputation, he said.
dr Bukhari accepted that it was a sunday world Article dated Sept. 4 last year that caused him to lose his position as deputy, he said. The judge did not accept that an identification would now have the damaging effect he claimed, since the publication of the newspaper articles had already caused considerable damage.
The judge told the doctor when approached by one sunday world Reporter, said he had not been suspended but did not say that as part of his further commitments in the High Court last July he was required to inform any potential employer of the existence of the disciplinary complaint against him.
The judge said the court only accepted his promises as much as possible and did not suspend him. However, he did not voluntarily make this restriction in his comment to the newspaper reporter, he said.
The judge adjourned the disciplinary matter until next May and said he would reenact a ruling he made last July, with Dr. Bukhari’s name is no longer redacted.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/doctor-with-drug-and-driving-convictions-can-be-named-in-media-reports-on-disciplinary-inquiry-judge-rules-42236755.html Physician with drug and traffic convictions may be named in media reports on disciplinary investigations, judges’ rules