Doctors cannot function under threat of being harassed, beaten up: High Court
Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently opined that if the doctors always face the threat of being beaten up by the relatives of the patients, they wouldn't be able to function properly.
Such observations came from the High Court bench comprising of Justice Vikas Bahl while the court was considering a petition filed by a relative of a patient seeking dismissal of an FIR made by a doctor. The doctor had alleged that after the death of the patient the relatives of the patient created turmoil in the hospital, allegedly beat up the doctors and also threatened to murder the doctor concerned.
"It will be difficult for the Doctors to function in our country if they always face the threat of being beaten up or being harassed by the relatives of patients as every single day, they have to deal with situations in which life and death of a patient is involved," noted the Court while dismissing the plea.
The case filed under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. sought quashing of the FIR registered under r Sections 147/149/323/506 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, at Police Station City Narnaul, District Mahendergarh.
A retired Civil Surgeon had filed the FIR and alleged that after the death of one patient, her relatives had started making phone calls and they called others, who after reaching the Hospital, started creating turmoil and disturbance in the Hospital and they threatened to murder the Doctor.
The FIR further mentioned that when the respectable Doctors of IMA also reached on the spot, they threatened them to go outside and on not doing the same, they beat up the said Doctors of IMA and even snatched important papers from their hands and also threatened them to go.
It was further alleged in the FIR that the staff members have great danger to their life and property from the said persons.
The HC bench also took note of the fact that the ASI has registered the case after considering the CCTV footage and photographs.
On the other hand, the counsel appearing on the behalf of the accused person argued that in the present case, no offence under Section 147 of the IPC for rioting has been made out and it has not been specifically stated as to which person has been beaten up.
After listening to the contentions, the HC bench perused the FIR and noted that the FIR clearly mentions that specific allegations have been made by the complainant with respect to the relatives of the patient.
The Court also observed that the reference in reference to the FIR registered by the petitioner's party (accused) goes against them as even in that FIR, the incident had been admitted.
"The cancellation report has also been submitted in the said FIR which also prima facie proves that the version given by the petitioners is incorrect. Even otherwise, it is hard to believe that the case projected by the petitioners i.e. negligence was on the part of the Doctor, the threat was also made by the Doctor and the medical papers were also not given by the Doctor and yet, on top of that the Doctor abused the petitioners and their family members," noted the bench.
Besides, the court also noted that even in the cancellation report submitted in the FIR filed by the accused, reference had been made to the CCTV Footage which clearly showed that medical papers were snatched from the doctor by the relatives of the patient.
"It is thus found that there is no truth in the allegations made by the petitioners' side," noted the court.
Taking all these factors into account, the Court observed,
"A perusal of the FIR as well as cancellation report submitted in the FIR registered by the petitioners would show that prima facie force and violence had been used by the relatives of the deceased Ompati and they were found to be in an unlawful assembly, thus, offence under Section 149 IPC would stand prima facie made out."
"In fact, even from the document annexed by the petitioners i.e. cancellation report, it comes to surface that as per the CCTV camera recordings, some fist blows had been given to Dr. *** and the papers were snatched from Dr.[***]. At any rate, all the said facts would come about after the investigation is complete and challan is presented," noted the Court as it dismissed the plea by the petitioners made under Section 482 Cr.PC.
However, the Court clarified that nothing stated in respect of the petition should be construed as an opinion regarding the merits of the case and the trial would proceed independently.
At the same time, before parting the Court expressed its feeling of sympathy towards persons whose family member has passed away but also noted that the "said persons including the petitioners must respect the Doctors who always try their best to save the lives of patients and, thus, such persons should not breach the law in case some untoward incident happens."
At this outset, the Court observed,
"It will be difficult for the Doctors to function in our country if they always face the threat of being beaten up or being harassed by the relatives of patients as every single day, they have to deal with situations in which life and death of a patient is involved."
To read the Court order, click on the link below.