The Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea of a doctor in an alleged case of medical negligence, where a patient’s wrong leg was operated on at a private hospital. The court has directed the Medical Council of India (MCI) to decide the quantum of punishment against Dr Ashwani Maichand. The court sent the matter back to the MCI, asking them to fix responsibility on the basis of findings by the Delhi Medical Council (DMC) and the single bench judge.
The court was hearing the case of Ravi Rai, who had slipped on the stairs and injured his legs and lower back in 2016. He was brought to a private hospital and registered as a patient under the supervision of Dr Maichand and Dr Rahul Kakran. A diagnostic X-ray was done on Rai’s right foot, following which he was told that his right leg was fractured and that he would have to undergo surgery. But the doctors allegedly operated on his left leg.
The DMC, in January 2017, ordered removal of the names of the two doctors from state medical registry for 180 days. Dr Maichand filed an appeal with the MCI against the DMC’s order.
The MCI, in August 2017, gave a clean chit to Dr Maichand, saying no case of medical negligence is made out against him. It quashed the punishment given to him by DMC. The council sustained DMC’s order on Dr Kakran.
Dr Kakran then filed a writ petition against MCI’s decision, which was dismissed by the Delhi High Court on September 17. The patient then filed a writ petition against the decision taken by the MCI in favour of Dr Maichand, saying it was contrary to the findings recorded in the DMC order.
In August 2018, a single judge bench of Justice Shakdher asked Dr Maichand to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation to the patient.
“MCI must have a sentencing policy in place for the guidance of its committeeswhich are tasked with the job of returning recommendations both on the guilt and punishment to be accorded to a delinquent doctor. MCI is directed to report on this aspect within three months,” Justice Shakdher said in his order.