DPP drops criminal case against cosmetic specialist Dr Pranav Pancholi and his employee
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has dropped a criminal case against cosmetic specialist Dr Pranav Pancholi of Avane Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic and Medical Spa.
Dr Pancholi had been accused of selling fake Covid-19 tests and kits in March 2020 at his clinic at Yaya Centre in Nairobi.
The government authorities conducted a raid at the clinic following a social media advertisement, that was informing Kenyans to order a piece of Covid-19 rapid test kits, which the clinic had procured for abroad at Ksh3,000.
Following the raid, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) fined the doctor Ksh500,000, suspended his licence and ordered the clinic closed.
The DPP filed a criminal case against Pancholi and one of his staff members at Avane Clinic before the Milimani chief magistrate court.
They were charged with publishing false advertisements and operating a medical institution without a licence.
“We are happy that our client has been absolved of any criminal activities,” says lawyer Andrew Muge who represented the doctor in the case.
However, Senior Resident Magistrate Muthoni Njagi freed them following an application by the DPP who sought to drop the charges against Dr Pancholi and his employee.
“It is hereby ordered that the first accused person's charges have been withdrawn under Section 87A Criminal Procedure Code. He is set at liberty unless lawfully held,” the order reads.
The magistrate also ordered the bail of the accused refunded.
Muge notes that the criminal case has effectively ended; allowing the doctor and the clinic to fully get back to medical operations.
Dr Pancholi’s medical license was reinstated by KMPDC after the six months of suspension elapsed. Avane Clinic, says the doctor, is fully back in operations.
“I am deeply thankful both to the council and also to our lawyers for getting us back to work. We want to continue serving our patients,” the doctor says. “The case had held me back from giving my patients full attention.”
Avane Clinic now operates three clinics in Nairobi: at Yaya Centre, Park Suites in Parklands and off UN Close in Gigiri.