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Delhi High Court denies bail to doctor in medical negligence case

Source: , Posted On:   13 December 2020

Delhi High Court denies bail to doctor in medical negligence case

The Delhi High Court has declined bail to a 70-year-old general surgeon who "transgressed" his field and performed surgery for medical termination of pregnancy upon a woman, resulting into her death.

Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri lent credence to the findings of the Delhi Medical Council (DMC) that the accused doctor Suresh Chandra Gupta was not a qualified obstetrician and gynaecologist, and still performed the surgery when there was no urgency as the pregnancy was only 19-20 weeks old.

Acting on a complaint, the DMC conducted disciplinary proceedings and found the doctor concerned, along with others, as guilty of medical negligence. The regulatory body confirmed the findings of the disciplinary proceedings, which recommended removing the name of the doctor from the list of registered practitioners for a period of 180 days.

The DMC had opined that the doctor, who is a postgraduate in the field of surgery, transgressed into the field of gynaecology by doing a procedure for which he is not trained and went beyond his knowledge, skill and competence.

The court rejected his "bald assertion" that no doctor ought to be arrested in a case of medical negligence.

The patient, 31-year-old Poonam Joshi, was admitted to R P Memorial Hospital here with 20 weeks pregnancy on July 8, 2015. She was diagnosed as a case of four months amenorrhea with placenta previa with bleeding and taken up for hysterotomy. She was referred to the Lady Hardinge Medical College and Hospital on July 9, 2015, at 12.30 am, where she breathed her last.

The petitioner doctor, for his part, said the FIR in the case was lodged in 2015 and he has been arrested on November 18, 2020. He said he was 70-year-old and otherwise qualified as a medical surgeon and performed the surgery at the request of the hospital concerned.

The court, however, said it did not find any ground to allow bail to the petitioner.

"Keeping in mind recommendations of the disciplinary committee, which stand confirmed by DMC, this court is of the prima facie view that there is reasonable ground to believe that the petitioner has committed the offence. Further, it has been stated that the investigation is still pending and the charge sheet is yet to be filed," the court said, denying him the bail.