Only experts can certify negligence on part of doctor: HC

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Dec 26: High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh has held that only experts can certify negligence on the part of the doctor.
Justice Wasim Sadiq Nargal held this while dismissing a petition filed by one Poonam Sharma seeking direction to the respondents to pay compensation to the tune of Rs 20 lakh for the death of Jai Kumar, son of Rajinder Parkash, who died due to negligence of doctors, registration of case for criminal negligence.
After hearing counsels appearing for all the sides, Justice Nargal said, “in order to ascertain whether there was any medical negligence on the part of respondent during treatment/operation of Jai Kumar on 10.01.2013 in Govt Hospital Sarwal, an Inquiry Committee comprising of Dr Ramesh Gupta, Medical Superintendent, Govt. Hospital Gandhi Nagar, Jammu (chairman), Dr. Anoop Singh Manhas, State Veneriologist, DHS, Jammu (Member) and Dr. Rakesh Gupta, Consultant Govt. Hospital, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu (member) was constituted vide order dated 16.02.2013”.
“The Inquiry Committee submitted its report on 09.03.2013. The Inquiry Committee while giving complete history of the case, opined that the patient was managed as per the standard protocol and no negligence on the part of the treating doctor was found by them”, High Court said, adding “the question as to how and by which principle, negligence of a professional doctor is to be decided and hold him liable for his medical acts/advice is no longer res integra and settled long back by series of English Decisions as well as decision of the Supreme Court”.
“Only experts can certify whether there was any negligence on part of the doctor or not and it is apparent from enquiry reports conducted by the experts in the field that there was no negligence on part of respondent while treating the deceased-Jai Kumar”, High Court said, adding “since the experts have found no negligence on part of respondent, no further enquiry or investigation is required in the matter. Furthermore, the FIR lodged against respondent, too, stands quashed along with proceedings emanating therefrom”.
Justice Nargal further said, “the claim of the petitioners, when considered in the light of two inquiry reports submitted by the expert bodies, merits rejection as the two expert bodies have exonerated the respondent and no negligence on his part was found”, adding “even the FIR registered against respondent stands quashed. When negligence of respondent was not proved and he was given clean chit by the experts in the field, question of compensation on account of alleged negligence on part of respondent does not arise”.
With these observations, High Court dismissed the petition.