A GP has been suspended for nine months after a tribunal found that he had sexually harassed a female colleague while already sanctioned for "failing to maintain a professional boundary" with a patient.

Dr Sunil Kumar Sahu was working as a family doctor in Fife when he pestered the woman, known only as Ms A, for an affair and on another occasion suggested they could be "friends with benefits".

Dr Sahu also admitted asking Ms A to show him her breasts and was found to have kissed and touched her bottom without her consent.

The incidents occurred between January and August 2022.


A fitness to practise tribunal concluded that Dr Sahu's actions "constituted unlawful sexual harassment" by engaging in "unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which had the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of Ms A, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for Ms A".

The GP, who is now based in Lothian, has been suspended from practising as a doctor for nine months.

He has 28 days to appeal the ruling.

The tribunal hearings, which took place in Manchester and concluded on Friday, March 22, were told that Dr Sahu admitted having asked Ms A on January 6 2022 whether she would "enter into an affair" with him.

He also admitted that on August 11 2022, he had told Ms A that he "really liked her" and "responded with words to the effect of ‘friends with benefits’ when Ms A said ‘so do I, but as a friend/colleague’".

On the same occasion, Dr Sahu admitted that he had "leaned towards Ms A's mouth" and "requested to see Ms A's breasts".

The tribunal also determined that during this same episode, he had "kissed Ms A on her cheek without her consent", told her she had a "nice bottom", and "proceeded to touch her bottom without her consent".

Another allegation that he had touched Ms A "inappropriately" in June 2022 while performing a stomach massage was not proven.

The Herald: Fitness to practise hearings take place at the MPTS headquarters in ManchesterFitness to practise hearings take place at the MPTS headquarters in Manchester

The tribunal noted that his actions in January 2022 - when he asked Ms A to have an affair with him - had coincided with a period of time when his registration was already "subject to a GMC warning for failing to maintain a professional boundary with a patient".

Dr Sahu qualified in medicine in 2003 at Kasturba Medical College in Mangalore, India. He had been on the GP register in the UK since 2008.

Doctors accused of wrongdoing are investigated by medical regulator, the GMC, who are then responsible for bringing their case before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS).

It is up to the MPTS to determine whether a doctor's fitness to practise is impaired and what sanction should be imposed.

In severe cases, this can include doctors being permanently struck off - meaning they are no longer permitted to practise in the UK.