No reinstatement for doctor who lost a job after patient death 10 years ago: Bombay HC
Mumbai: In a strict order, the Bombay High Court has denied relief to the doctor who prayed for his reinstatement after dismissal over dereliction of duty that allegedly caused the death of an 11-year-old patient in the year 2010.
In holding so, the bench of honorable Justices TV Nalawade and Mangesh Patil noted that there was no arguable case for reviewing the earlier HC order upholding his suspension.
The case pertains to the doctor who had been accused of dereliction of duty which allegedly was the reason for the death of 11-year-old boy over 10 years ago.
HT reports that the doctor was on duty at Shirdi's Saibaba Hospital in June 2009 when the patient was brought to the charitable facility for treatment for snakebite. He had transferred the patient to Sainath Hospital allegedly without administering an anti-venom injection. The Sainath Hospital had then refused to admit the boy and sent him back, prompting the doctor to refer him to a private hospital at Loni. But unfortunately, the patient died on the way, adds HT.
After an inquiry into the incident, the doctor was dismissed from service in December 2010. Later, the court upheld his removal in January 2015.
Then, last year, he approached the court seeking a review, primarily on the ground that he was acquitted of causing death by negligence in January 2019.
Via the petition, the doctor submitted that the circumstance of acquittal can be considered as a ground for challenging the order of termination made against him in the departmental enquiry.
Deliberating on the case, the bench observed that there is no whisper about the pendency of that case in the decision given by HC and in the departmental enquiry proceeding.
"The standard of proof in criminal case is different and prosecution is required to prove the case beyond all reasonable doubts. Sessions case was filed for offence punishable under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code and so, prosecution was required to establish either the intention or knowledge as mentioned in Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code. In the departmental enquiry only the principles of natural justice are required to be followed and if they are followed then this Court is not expected to lightly interfere in the order passed in departmental enquiry. That point is considered by this Court and there is no dispute that the principles of natural justice were followed. This Court has considered the relevant material, which was available before the enquiring officer."
Refusing to allow the plea of the doctor and hence denying him relief, the bench held: "One young boy lost life due to dereliction in duty of the present Applicant. For departmental enquiry, it was not only negligence and it was something more than that."
These days, the approach of some doctors working in the Government hospitals and Trust hospitals is such that they do not care for the life of poor persons. These hospitals are meant mainly for poor persons. If such doctors do not show devotion in their duty and they act in this way, they cannot be spared as life of poor persons is more important than the service of such persons. Unless such approach is taken by the employer and also the Court, the conduct of the doctors will not improve. This Court holds that there is no arguable case in the review proceeding also for the Applicant.
Attached below is the order in detail: