15 Dec 2016

GP accused of indecently assaulting patients

4:34 pm on 15 December 2016

A Christchurch doctor is accused of indecently assaulting some male patients.

Dr Rakesh Kumar Chawdhry, 61, can be named after his bid for continued name suppression failed.

Dr Chawdhry faces 13 charges of indecently assaulting men aged over 16.

Police started investigating earlier this year.

He is defending the charges and will go to trial next year.

Dr Chawdhry's lawyer, Paul Wicks QC, appealed to the the High Court after a district court judge declined to continue name suppression.

The high court judge upheld the district court's decision. Name suppression lapsed at midnight.

Mr Wicks said today his client decided not to pursue other avenues to keep his name secret.

Dr Chawdhry worked as a general practitioner contractor at the Riccarton Clinic in Christchurch. The clinic said Dr Chawdhry no longer worked there.

The Medical Council said his practising certificate expired in April. It had not been renewed, so he could not practise.

"There is no threat or risk to public health and safety," a council spokesperson said.

The Office of the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) said because of the police investigation, it decided not to continue a concurrent investigation.

"HDC has referred Dr Chawdhry to the Medical Council of New Zealand," a spokesman said.