Indian News

Relief for doc as court accepts police closure report in 'lapsed licence' case in Mumbai

Source: , Posted On:   20 March 2021

Relief for doc as court accepts police closure report in ‘lapsed licence’ case in Mumbai | Mumbai News - Times of India

Mumbai: A sessions court this week upheld a lower court’s order, accepting the closure report submitted by cops in a criminal case where city-based Dr Murarilal Saraf was accused of practising without a valid medical licence.
Colaba resident Nandini Suchde (55) had accused doctors of medical negligence after her mother Geetika Ghosh died days after she was operated for a fractured femur at a south Mumbai hospital in January 2013. Suchde alleged that Saraf’s registration was cancelled in 1988 by Maharashtra Medical Council, despite which he was practising till the date of the operation and this amounted to cheating.
She moved sessions court in 2018 against the magistrate court’s 2017 order accepting the police’s C Summary report which is filed when a case is filed due to “mistake of facts” or they find that it amounts to a civil case.
Saraf’s lawyer said he had been registered under Indian Medical Council Act, and that registration has never lapsed. He submitted that renewal of registration with Maharashtra Medical Council was also later done with penalty.
The sessions court dismissed Suchde’s plea. It observed that there was no evidence to show that Saraf had intentionally deceived Suchde or her mother. “...there is no dispute about qualification of respondent no 3 [Saraf] as doctor. There is no evidence on record which goes to show that this is a case medical negligence on the part of doctor while treating his patient. As such, no prima facie case is made out... under section 420 (cheating),” the court said.
It pointed out that under Maharashtra Medical Practitioners (MMP) Act, practitioners can be barred unless their names are in the register maintained under the act or the register of list prepared under Bombay Homeopathic Act or registers maintained under Maharashtra Medical Council Act or Indian Medical Register.
The sessions court said that the MMP Act does not mandate that the person who wants to practise medicine has to register with all four authorities. “...as per report submitted by the police... it appears that respondent no 3 [Saraf] since 1971 till date remains registered with Indian Medical Council... and therefore has been registered as provided under the MMP Act...” the sessions court said.
The court also quoted the magistrate’s order in which it was held that lapse in registration is not criminal lapse, but can be professional misconduct. “I do agree the lapse for the period 1988 to October, 2013 is not criminal lapse and so for as professional misconduct is concerned it is for the departmental authority to decide,” the sessions court said.