Indian-Origin Doctor Acquitted of Molestation Charges in Singapore After Compensating Victim

singapore singpass myinfor profile
A view of the Supreme Court building in the backdrop of the skyline of Singapore's central business district 27 May 2016 (Edgar Su/File Photo/Reuters)

Dheeraj Prem Khiatani, a 35-year-old doctor of Indian origin, has been acquitted of molestation allegations in Singapore after reaching a settlement and compensating the victim. The District Court granted him a discharge amounting to acquittal following a compounding of the matter on December 18, as reported by The Straits Times.

Compounding an offense allows the accused and the alleged victim to resolve the issue without a conviction. Typically, this involves a public apology from the accused and monetary compensation to the victim. Under Singaporean law, offenses like causing hurt or outrage of modesty can be compounded.

Khiatani's agreement to compound the offense means he cannot be charged again for the same incident. However, the public prosecutor must weigh factors such as public interest, the offense's circumstances, and any aggravating factors before agreeing to such terms.

In response to The Straits Times, the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) stated that Khiatani sought to compound the offense instead of facing prosecution. The AGC spokesperson mentioned, "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."

Singapore lawyers
Singapore lawyers (Representational picture) Pixabay

The specific details of the compensation terms remain undisclosed by the AGC spokesperson.

Khiatani was accused of molesting a woman at a Marina Bay Sands lounge on June 25 this year and according to the Singapore Medical Council's database, his practice has been listed at The Integrative Medical Centre by The Iron Suites in River Valley Road.

He also served as a director at several firms, including Stark Medical Innovations. He is represented by lawyers Sunil Sudheesan, Diana Ngiam and Joyce Khoo from Quahe Woo & Palmer.

Under Singaporean law, individuals convicted of molestation can face imprisonment of up to three years, fines, caning, or a combination of these penalties.