February 9, 2021 1:05:42 am
The Bombay High Court recently allowed an interim application in appeal, seeking suspension of trial court conviction against an ayurvedic doctor from Pune, who was booked and arrested for ‘negligence’ after a patient succumbed to post-surgery complications after caesarean delivery and tubectomy performed on her in 2012. While releasing him on bail, the court suspended his sentence pending hearing on appeal against the same.
Justice Sandeep K Shinde on February 3 passed an order on interim application in appeal by Dr Sachin Deshpande, filed through advocates Aniket Nikam and Aashish Satpute, against the September, 2020 Pune sessions court order that convicted him for offence punishable under IPC section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) to suffer simple imprisonment for 10 years. The appellant was also directed to pay Rs. 2.5 lakh compensation to the informant, husband of the deceased.
The 21-year-old woman was admitted for a planned caesarean delivery for her second pregnancy and subsequent tubectomy on the night of April 30, 2012, at the co-accused’s hospital, where the appellant was called for performing the procedures. After these medical procedures were conducted on May 1, the woman started suffering from excessive bleeding. She was shifted to another hospital and the same set of doctors performed another procedure on her there. On the morning of May 2, her condition deteriorated and she passed away.
The petitioner’s counsel informed the court that a co-convict and owner of the hospital where the appellant was working was released on bail by HC on January 21. Therefore, the appellant sought his release on bail on parity. Nikam argued that post-caesarean death was not due to medical negligence and the doctors had not failed in discharging their duties of care.
However, appearing for police, additional public prosecutor S R Agarkar opposed the plea and submitted the appellant, who was not qualified to perform a caesarean, knew his act was likely to cause her death.
After hearing submissions, the bench observed while evidence of one of the experts suggested ‘negligence’ by Deshpande, the other expert suggested that the operation was ‘properly done’.
In light of this, the bench allowed the application and ruled, “In the consideration of the evidence on record and since the co-accused has been released on bail and further the applicant had not misused his liberty when granted bail and further appeal is likely to be heard in near future, pending appeal, impugned sentence is suspended.”
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