Kolkata: A prominent neurologist in the city is all set to file a defamation case and a compensation suit of Rs 10 crore against West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) in the Supreme Court.
The doctor was suspended by the state medical council for the duration of one year on account of medical negligence in July 2017. He then approached the High Court on July 19, 2018 which quashed the decision given by the medical council.
The West Bengal Medical Council then moved to the Supreme Court and filed the special leave petition (SLP) challenging the verdict of the High Court. However, the petition was recently dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Medical dialogues team earlier reported that a complaint was filed against Dr Snigdhendu Ghosh by the father of 19 year-old girl who allegedly died under his care on 29th December 2010.
Alleging criminal negligence the deceased’s father filed a complaint with the local police station which registered the complaint under IPC 304A. The family also addressed an appeal to the West Bengal Medical Council as well as the Medical Council of India; They also moved the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission where they did not prosecute the matter and the complaint was dismissed.
The Medical board set up by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, in the matter opined that the medicines prescribed by the doctor were adequate for enteric fever and pneumonia. It is reported that based on this report, in 2014, the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate discharged the appellant as prima facie no negligence could be attributed to him.
Meanwhile, in 2011, the Medical Council of India asked the State Medical Council to enquire into the case and take action within six months under Clause 8.4 of the Indian Medical Council (promotional conduct, etiquette and ethics) Regulation, 2002.
After an enquiry, on 2nd August, 2016, the appellant was charge-sheeted by the West Bengal Medical Council under Section 17 read with Section 25 of the Bengal Medical Act, 1914.
Thereupon, the appellant was charged with “error in patient surveillance” and “infamous conduct under the Bengal Medical Act, 2014.”
The State Medical Council went through the entire case and considered the charges and found the appellant guilty of infamous conduct in a professional respect and passed order for removal of his name from the register of registered medical practitioners maintained by the West Bengal Medical Council for a period of one year under Section 25(a)(ii) of the Bengal Medical Act, 1914.
The West Bengal Medical Council at the time of passing the aforesaid order of removal of the name of the appellant from the register of medical practitioners observed the following:-
“(a) Dr. Snigdhendu Ghosh was not rational in continuation of treatment of the patient with three antibiotics at the initial stage.
(b)He was deficient in his approach in not advising any blood test to exclude the other prognosis of the case if any.
(c) He was deficient in his approach in not advising in any chest x-ray of the patient to exclude the other prognosis of the case, if any”.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the council, the doctor approached first approached the appellant authority, the state government and then a single bench on the high court, who refused to pass an interim order in the matter. Thereafter he challenged the said decision before a double bench
Reaching the same conclusion, but providing different/concurrent reasoning in two separate orders, the double bench of the HC set aside the suspension order of the West Bengal Medical Council directing the council to re-enter the name of the appellant in the register of medical practitioners immediately without any delayand preferably within a period of forty eight hours from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The doctor was given at liberty to resume practice forthwith.
The court also noted immense harassment and mental agony which the appellant is suffering since August 2017 when the order for removal of his name was passed by the WBMC.
However, the State Medical Council drafted a special leave petition in the Supreme Court. The same was recently dismissed.
Dr Snighdhendu Ghosh told TOI, “I was waiting for the SC verdict. Now that my exoneration by Calcutta HC stands, I will file a defamation suit against WBMC and compensation for the 11 months I could not practise as WBMC had suspended my licence.”
“I didn’t have a job for 11 months. My reputation was ruined,” Dr Ghosh further adds who plans to file defamation suit of Rs 10 core.