Doctor suspended by Medical Council for Discussing Postmortem on TV, Court upholds decision
Chennai: Refusing to set aside the punishment given by the Tamil Nadu Medical Council in suspending him for discussing a postmortem report during TV debate, the Madras High Court has directed the doctor to stay away from medical practice for a month as held by the council.
The bench headed by the Honourable Justice Parthiban has further directed the medical council to file a detailed report on the issue and submit before the court.Earlier, the Tamil Nadu medical council suspended the license of the doctor as a punishment for discussing the contents of a postmortem report in a TV debate. Aggrieved by the council's decision, the doctor had moved the High Court seeking relief.
The infamous debate was held as a discussion on the suspicious death of a woman. On June 24, when the woman and her disabled father were sleeping outside their house, their relative raised an alarm claiming that the woman had killed herself. However, it was later found that relative and his brother allegedly committed the murder. Subsequently, a postmortem was conducted by the forensic experts.
During the hearing, the state medical council affirmed before the bench that the doctor participated in a Tamil TV programme and discussed the suspicious death of the woman. He commented that the postmortem certificate issued by the government hospital was substandard, and had a lot of flaws.
The counsel appearing on behalf of the TNMC said that the doctor raised doubts on the postmortem certificate, without actually being part of the PM team or knowing the facts first hand. The case that was discussed in the show is still under investigation and the PM report alleged to be flawed by him is a confidential document. Accessing such confidential documents unofficially and discussing the content in public forums is an intrusion of privacy and is likely to affect the investigation and trial of the case, the council said, reports TOI.
The TNMC, in its order stated: "Blatant accusations of defective postmortem based on the examination report can instigate unwarranted pressure on the part of the affected family and all those involved. When the police investigations are on and the case is under the purview of our reputed judicial system, Dekal's act was uncalled for by a registered medical practitioner," quotes The New Indian Express.
In its petition, the doctor denied all the allegations and submitted that at the time of debate, he did not criticize the postmortem certificate issued by the government doctor but only expressed his opinion. He maintained that when so many qualified forensic experts were available in the nearby Government Chengalpattu Medical College, the postmortem examination should have been conducted there instead of the one at Madurantakam.
However, the council refused to accept his explanation and passed an order suspending his license to practice for one month.
After hearing submissions from both sides, the bench then refused to interfere in the order of the state medical council.
According to TOI report, while refusing to set aside the punishment and denying to issue interim relief to the doctor, the Madras HC stated:
Concurring with the stand of the council that a postmortem report is a confidential document and, therefore, accessing it unofficially and discussing the content in public forums is intrusion of privacy
Further, the court directed the counsel to file a detailed counter by October 29.