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Aruna Gangoosingh is being prosecuted for violating the Information and Communication Technologies Act. She had posted an offensive video on her Facebook account. During the trial, three psychiatrists testified that the defendant suffers from bipolar disorder.

Three psychiatrists have argued that Aruna Gangoosingh, aged 45, suffers from “bipolar mood disorder”. It was during their respective testimonies in the wake of the trial brought against the forty-year-old in intermediate court for violation of the Information and Communication Technologies Act (ICT Act).

Dr. Bharathi Goorah-Deenoo said he examined Aruna Gangoosingh on October 8, 2020, at Brown-Séquard hospital. Cross-examined by Me Narwin Ramdass, defense lawyer, the psychiatrist confirmed that Aruna Gangoosingh suffered from “bipolar mood disorder”. She claimed that during the examination, the 40-year-old was irritated and did not accept the fact that she was ill.

According to the doctor, the patient could not bear the fact that her movements were restricted by the lockdown and quarantine laws. While the country was reeling under the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the psychiatrist said, Aruna Gangoosingh was conscious and understood what was happening around her.

Dr. Ravi Seetohul was also called to the stand by the prosecution. He was part of the medical board that was set up to examine Aruna Gangoosingh on October 5, 2023. This was to determine whether she was fit to face trial. The resident of Rivière-des-Créoles was calm and cooperative, maintained the psychiatrist. She did not have suicidal tendencies.

The defence, for its part, had called two psychiatrists, including Dr. Vashist Sewbuddul and Dr. Tarunsing Ramkoosalsing. The first had been called to examine Aruna Gangoosingh when she was admitted to Brown-Séquard Hospital in October 2020. He confirmed that the forty-year-old suffers from “bipolar affective order” as well as “Ankylosing spondylitis”. This, he said, is a degenerative genetic disease of the spine that prevents the spine from flexing. “This is a serious form of disability,” he stressed.

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness characterized by extreme fluctuations in mood, alternating between phases of mania (euphoria) and depression. These variations can affect the perception of behaviors, words and thoughts.

Dr Vashist Sewbuddul pointed out that Aruna Gangoosingh was not in a state to understand what was happening to her. “No insight, expansive mood with impulsive nature and easy distraction,” the doctor said. In this state, he said, the 40-year-old was incapable of being rational. He also added that people with bipolar disorder can suffer from severe depression.

Dr Tarunsing Ramkoosalsing examined Aruna Gangoosingh on January 9, 2023, following a request from her father. He maintained that the forty-year-old was indeed suffering from “manic depressive psychosis”. In addition, the pleadings of the prosecution and defense lawyers are scheduled for August 7, 2024 before magistrate Varsha Biefun. The resident of Rivière-des-Créoles is accused of having posted a video on her Facebook account with disrespectful remarks towards the Mauritian population. An offense allegedly committed on April 10, 2021. The forty-year-old pleaded not guilty.

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