The Chhattisgarh High Court has quashed criminal proceedings against Dr R K Gupta, who operated upon 83 women in a sterilisation drive in November 2014. All 83 were taken ill and 12 of them later died. The proceedings were quashed as the government failed to give sanction for the doctor’s prosecution. Gupta had sought relief arguing that it had not been established that the women died of septicemia and there was no sanction for his prosecution too. While the government had maintained that Gupta was negligent, it added that the sanction was not needed since he was terminated from service.
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In his judgment delivered on February 15, Justice Sam Koshy said that previously under section 197, the government did not need to give prosecution sanction if an employee had been terminated from service.
“However, under the new Act, Section 197 stood amended and it included all those persons, who are or were public servants while committing the act in discharge of their official duties, the previous sanction was mandatory from the Govt. for taking cognizance against such officials,” he said.