RULING THAT an FIR in a case of alleged medical negligence cannot be registered without an expert opinion supporting such an allegation, the Delhi High Court has quashed a case registered by the police against doctors of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and directed the Superintendent of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital to constitute a medical team for an expert opinion on the allegations against the medicos.
A 32-year-old doctor, who was practicing in Australia, died last year days after after undergoing arthroscopic surgery at the institute in Delhi.
Her father in the complaint alleged that necessary pre-operative and post-operative care was not provided to the patient.
It was alleged that the doctors completely disregarded multiple factors which increased the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
The doctors challenged the registration of case before High Court.
“Undeniably, there is no expert opinion on record, which expressly states that the petitioners were negligent or, prima facie, appear to have been negligent in this case. Thus, this Court is of the view that the procedure as prescribed in by the Supreme Court in Jacob Mathew v State of Punjab and Another has not been followed,” Justice Vibhu Bakhru said in the order.
However, the court also said quashing of the FIR will not in any manner impede the police from making the necessary inquiries and directed the investigating officer to draw up a specific case for opinion and refer it to the DDU hospital, which has been directed by it to constitute a medical board and give an opinion within a period of eight weeks.
“Depending on the opinion rendered by the Medical Board, the IO may take further steps as necessary. It is also expressly clarified that the fact that the FIR has been quashed would not preclude the IO from registering the same if an opinion adverse to the concerned doctors is issued by the Medical Board,” the court said in the order.
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