Indian-origin doc accused of molesting woman acquitted in Singapore

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A 35-year-old Indian-origin doctor accused of molesting a woman in Singapore earlier this year has been acquitted after paying compensation to the victim. Dheeraj Prem Khiatani was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal after he had the matter compounded in a district court on December 18, The Straits Times newspaper reported. Compounding an offence means an alleged victim and the accused are allowed to settle the matter without entering a conviction.

Usually, the accused issues a public apology and pays a monetary compensation to the victim. Causing hurt, outrage of modesty are some of the offences that can be compounded under Singapore law. Khiatani now cannot be charged again over the same offence, but before agreeing to the terms, the public prosecutor will need to consider the public interest, circumstances of the offence and whether there are any aggravating factors.

In a statement to The Straits Times on Monday, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) said Khiatani had sought to compound the offence, in lieu of prosecution. “The victim accepted the terms offered by the accused person. Having reviewed the facts and circumstances of the case as well as the victim’s agreement, the prosecution decided to accede to the request to have the matter compounded,” a spokesman for the AGC said.

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Details about the compensation terms were not disclosed by the spokesperson. Khiatani was accused of molesting a woman at a Marina Bay Sands lounge on June 25 this year. The Singapore Medical Council’s database shows that he practises at The Integrative Medical Centre by The Iron Suites in River Valley Road. Offenders convicted of molestation can be jailed for up to three years, fined, caned or receive any combination of such punishments.