The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed an Assistant Commissioner of Police to investigate the FIR lodged in connection with a cataract operation at a government-run hospital last year in which four persons lost their eyesight . The court has also directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police, zone-5, to monitor the investigation under his guidance and submit a report in a month.
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Justice J B Pardiwala ordered it while hearing a petition moved by four persons, including three manufactures of Savlon Liquid Antiseptic, and a pharmacist against whom an FIR has been lodged at Maninagar police station. They have sought quashing of the FIR, stating that they have wrongly been included in the case.
In the FIR, lodged by Dr Laxman K Taviyad, Resident Medical Officer of LG Hospital, it has been alleged that the four patients lost their vision after their instruments got infected with the bacteria found in the Savlon liquid antiseptic, which was manufactured by petitioners. In the last hearing, justice Pardiwala slammed the government for blaming the manufacturers without any investigation with regard to “rash or negligent act” on the part of doctors or the other staff involved in the surgery.
The current investigating officer sought report on Savlon liquid antiseptic through a laboratory of LG Hospital. Similar tests were carried out at NHL Medical College and BJ Medical College. All these hospitals are run by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Justice Pardiwala remarked, “Should I expect a fair report from the hospital itself, more particularly when the operations were performed in the very same hospital?… All the three hospitals, in their reports, found fault with the Savlon liquid antiseptic for one reason or the other.”
The twist in the case came following a report by Food and Drugs Laboratory in Vadodara, a government analyst lab. It gave clean chit to Savlon liquid antiseptic. Justice Pardiwala said, “Why such unfortunate incidents are reported concerning the government or the municipal hospitals only? The product manufactured by the applicants is being used by a number of private hospitals also. Why such incidents have not been reported in any other hospital?”
Advocate Vishal Anandjiwala, who represents the petitioners, said that the court has ordered the ACP to investigate the case which will be monitored by the concerned DCP who will submit the report in the court in a month.