Indian News

Bail denied to doctor held guilty of medical negligence

Source: , Posted On:   13 December 2020

Bail denied to doctor held guilty of medical negligence

The Delhi High Court has denied bail to a doctor who was held guilty of medical negligence related to the death of a 31-year-old pregnant woman. He had performed a surgery when the woman’s pregnancy was 19-20 weeks old.

Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri said it was of the prima facie view that there was a reasonable ground to believe that Suresh Chandra Gupta, the doctor, committed the offence.

Dr. Gupta is facing charges under Section 315 (act done with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth) and Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) under the IPC. In his bail plea, Dr. Gupta had argued that he was 70-year-old and had performed the surgery at the request of R.P Memorial Hospital. Dr. Gupta argued that the FIR dates back to 2015, but he was arrested on November 18, 2020.

The public prosecutor vehemently opposed the bail application, saying that Dr. Gupta, admittedly, was neither on the hospital panel nor a visiting surgeon. “The petitioner [Dr. Gupta], knowing fully well that he was not a qualified obstetrician and gynaecologist, performed the surgery when there was no urgency, as the pregnancy was only 19-20 weeks old, which led to the patient’s death,” the public prosecutor said.

Dr. Gupta made a bald assertion that no doctor should be arrested in a case of medical negligence. However, in the present case, the investigating officer took an independent opinion from Delhi Medical Council, which conducted the disciplinary proceedings.

The Disciplinary Committee had observed that Dr. Gupta, who is a postgraduate in surgery, transgressed into field of gynaecology by doing a procedure, for which, he is not trained and which is beyond his knowledge, skill and competence.

The DMC, in a status report, also stated that Dr. Gupta is not well-versed with obstetrical emergency procedures, hence, the patient should have been referred to a hospital set-up where gynaecologist was available along with the infrastructure to manage such a patient in the beginning only.

The DMC also found that the co-accused, Hitender Vashisht, the in-charge/Director of R.P. Memorial Hospital was not even registered with DMC as he is not the holder of qualification in Modern Scientific System of Medicine and should refrain from pre-fixing ‘Dr.’ to his name.

In fact, the Disciplinary Committee recommended that the name of the petitioner be removed from the State Medical Register of the Delhi Medical Council for a period of 180 days.

On the Disciplinary Committee’s recommendation, the DMC removed Dr. Gupta’s name from the State Medical Register for 180 days.