A court in Pune has sentenced two doctors to 10 years’ imprisonment over the death of a 21-year-old woman, who had succumbed to post-surgery complications after a cesarean delivery and tubectomy performed on her in 2012 at a hospital in Dehu Road area.
The court of Additional Sessions Judge VR Jagdale on Tuesday convicted doctors Jitendra Shimpi and Sachin Deshpande to simple imprisonment of 10 years under Indian Penal Code Section 304 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Shimpi has also been sentenced to simple imprisonment of six months, under the provision of Bombay Nursing Homes Registration Act, which will run concurrently.
The two have also been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 2.5 lakh to the husband of the deceased. Anesthesiologist Dr VB Agarwal, who was also charged along with the two other doctors, has been acquitted by the court.
The 21-year-old woman was admitted for a planned cesarean delivery for her second pregnancy and subsequent tubectomy on April 30, 2012, at Dr Shimpi’s hospital, where Dr Deshpande was called for performing the procedures. After these procedures, the woman started suffering from excessive bleeding. She was shifted to another hospital in a car and the same set of doctors performed another procedure on her at the other hospital.
The next morning, the woman passed away. After a few months, following an inquiry by a medical board at the government hospital, the doctors were booked by police on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and under sections of Bombay Nursing Homes Registration Act.
Both doctors have degrees in Ayurvedic Medicine. While Shimpi has a BAMS degree, Deshpande has a BAMS degree with a MS in Ayurveda Shalyatantra. While charging the duo for culpable homicide, the prosecution also argued that the two doctors did not have the requisite education and training to perform these procedures.
In its judgment, the court observed that the main dispute was whether the two accused possess the requisite educational qualification for performing gynaecological surgery, including the cesarean operation and tubectomy, as per government norms, whether proper pre-operative and post-operative care was taken and whether the death was caused by post-partum complications.
The prosecution examined nine witnesses and one rebuttal witness. The court ruled that the evidence presented by the prosecution was cogent, convincing and reliable to prove charges of culpable homicide against Shimpi and Deshpande, but not sufficient to prove that the anesthesiologist aided or abetted them. The court, in its order, also appreciated efforts taken by the investigating officer Amol Chaudhari and prosecutor Rajesh Kavediya.
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