In a letter written to Hon’ble Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh Ji, Indian Medical Association has requested the Home Minister to intervene and direct all Police Heads of every State through their respective Home Secretaries to implement Supreme Court guidelines regarding the criminal medical negligence complaints against the medical doctor.
Giving details, Padma Shri Awardee Dr A Marthanda Pillai and Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal Honorary Secretary General IMA and President Heart Care Foundation of India said that deciding a Civil Writ Petition in the High Court of Punjab & Chandigarh, Director, Bureau of Investigation, Punjab & Chandigarh has directed all Police Heads in Punjab & Chandigarh and has enclosed Supreme Court ‘Jacob Mathew Vs. State of Punjab an Anr, and, Civil Appeal No.3541 of 2002, titled as ‘Martin F. D’Souza Vs. Mohd. Ishfaq’ to all Police Heads.
As per the Judgment, in the case of Martin F. D’Souza Vs. Mohd Ishfaq, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has passed the directions as under:-
…. “124, it must be remembered that sometimes despite their best efforts the treatment of a doctor falls. For instance, sometimes despite the best effort of a surgeon, the patient dies. That does not mean that the doctor or the surgeon must be held guilty of medical negligence, unless thee is some strong evidence to suggest that he is.”….
In the case of ‘Jacob Mathew Vs. State of Punjab an Anr, the Judgment is as under
“We propose to lay down certain guidelines for the future which should govern the prosecution of doctors for offences of which criminal rashness or criminal negligence is an ingredient. A private complaint may not be entertained unless the complainant has produced prima face evidence before the Court in the form of a credible opinion given y another competent doctor to support he charge of rashness or negligence on the part of the accursed doctor. The investigating officer should, before proceeding against the doctor accused of rash of negligent act or omission, obtain an independent and competent medical opinion preferably form a doctor government service qualified that branch of medical practice who can normally be expected to given an impartial and unbiased opinion applying Bolam’s test to the facts collected in the investigation. A doctor accused of rashness or negligence, may not be arrested in a routine manner (simply because a charge has been leveled against him). Unless his arrest is necessary for furthering the investigation or for collecting evidence or unless the investigation officer feels satisfied that the doctor proceeded against would not make himself available to face the prosecution unless arrested, the arrest may be withheld.”
The Director, Bureau of Investigation has written as follows:-
“It is hereby directed that the directions issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in the above said Criminal Appeal Nos. 144-145 titled as titled ‘Jacob Mathee Vs. State of Punjab an Anr, and, Civil Appeal No.3541 of 2002, titled as ‘Martin F. D’Souza Vs. Mohd. Ishfaq’, be circulated to all the SHOs and investigating Officers under your jurisdiction, for meticulous compliance of the same.”