Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: A Division Bench comprising of Indira Banerjee and V. Ramasubramanian, JJ., gave succour to a doctor in service of the Delhi Government who was denied study leave to pursue post graduation amid COVID-19 pandemic last year. The Court directed PGI, Chandigarh to admit him to the post graduate course scheduled to commence in July 2021, on the basis of INICET-2020, which he had successfully cleared. The Court observed that it would be a travesty of justice to deny relief to the appellant, when he had to make a personal sacrifice in the larger public interest, to serve the cause of humanity.

The task before the Court was to pacify the legitimate expectation of COVID-19 warriors like the appellant to fair treatment, in conformity with the Service Rules by which they are governed, to enable them to pursue higher education and enhance their educational qualifications.

Factual Background

The appellant, a doctor, who joined service of the Delhi Government in 2014, was presently posted as Medical Officer of the Emergency and Accidents Department at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, New Delhi. He has duly completed five years of regular and continuous service with the Government of NCT of Delhi and was thus eligible to avail study leave to pursue the post graduate course, in accordance with the Directives and Guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

The appellant successfully cleared INICET-2020 (Institute of National Importance Combined Entrance Test), a highly competitive examination for admission to the MD/MS courses in some of the premier medical institutions of the country, such as AIIMS and PGI, Chandigarh. On 29-12-2020, he was allotted a seat by PGI, Chandigarh in the MD course in Paediatrics.

The authorities of Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital duly issued the required ‘No Objection Certificate’ to the appellant to enable him to pursue post graduation. After completing all requisite formalities, the appellant applied for study leave to the Delhi Government as per the applicable Rules to enable him to join the post graduate course. His application was however declined in view of the policy decision taken by the Government.

The Policy Decision

On or about 20-10-2020, a policy decision was taken, not to grant any further study leave to the doctors working in the hospitals of the Government of NCT of Delhi, in view of COVID-19 pandemic. Another Office Order dated 22-10-2020 was issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi, Health and Family Welfare Department (Medical Branch) which read: “In view of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 in NCT of Delhi and the projections made by Experts about the expected increase in cases of COVID-19 during the period November-December, 2020, it is not feasible, in public interest to spare the services of GDMOs, to pursue Post Graduation courses. GDMOs cannot be acceded to at this juncture.”

Grievance

The appellant was aggrieved by the fact that even though he cleared INICET-2020 and was selected for post graduate course in PGI, Chandigarh, he was declined study leave. By an order dated 22-1-2021, the Delhi Government rejected appellant’s application for study leave, having regard to the policy decision taken by the Government on 20-10-2020 and the subsequent order dated 22-10-2020. On 31-1-2021, admission to post graduate courses in PGI, Chandigarh, for the 2020 session was closed, and the allotment of post graduate seat to the appellant was cancelled.

The appellant filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the action of the Delhi Government in not granting study leave. The writ petition was dismissed. Aggrieved, the appellant approached the Supreme Court.

Contentions

The appellant argued that he had arbitrarily been declined study leave whereas many other doctors, similarly circumstanced, had been granted study leave to pursue post graduate courses, even after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was submitted that there was no justification in refusing study leave to the appellant and depriving him of the opportunity to pursue post graduate studies in a premier institution.

The Delhi Government argued that it had neither acted arbitrarily, nor discriminated against the appellant. The order of refusing study leave to the appellant had to be taken in view of the pandemic, with predictions of exponential rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and the consequential policy decision taken on 20-10-2020. It was submitted that the Delhi Government acted within the parameters of law and did not commit any wrong in not allowing study leave to the appellant.

Analysis and Observations

Judicial review of policy decisions

The Court noted that while it is true that numerous doctors were granted study leave during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was before the policy decision taken by the Government. The fact that some doctors may have been granted study leave after the spread of COVID-19 cases in Delhi, did not debar the Government from taking a policy decision not to grant study leave to doctors any further, when exigencies necessitated such a decision. The Court observed:

In any case the prudence of and/or justification for the policy decision cannot be examined by the Court in exercise of its extraordinary power of judicial review under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

Policy decision not arbitrary

The Court was of the view that the policy decision not to grant study leave to doctors for a certain length of time, in apprehension of a rise in COVID-19 cases, to ensure the availability of as many doctors as possible for duty, was neither arbitrary, nor discriminatory, nor violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

Legitimate expectation of COVID-19 Warriors

The Court recorded that while it may be true that no leave can be claimed as a matter of right and the Delhi Government apparently acted within the parameters of law in declining study leave to the appellant in the teeth of COVID-19 pandemic when doctors were urgently required in Government hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. But at the same time, said the Court:

At the same time, this Court cannot be oblivious to the legitimate expectation of COVID-19 warriors like the appellant to fair treatment, in conformity with the Service Rules by which they are governed, to enable them to pursue higher education and enhance their educational qualifications. Needless to mention that doctors with higher qualifications and special knowledge in specific areas would be an asset to the medical fraternity, as also to the society.

Need for reconsideration

The Court noted that the policy decision not to grant study leave to doctors working in hospitals under the Delhi Government in apprehension of rise in COVID-19 cases, is obviously a temporary one. The policy cannot continue indefinitely irrespective of changes in circumstances. The policy has necessarily to be reviewed from time to time and relaxed and/or modified once there is decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases in the NCT of Delhi.

The Court was of the view that since COVID-19 situation in Delhi is now comparatively better, the application of the appellant for study leave should be reconsidered. The Delhi Government should, as a model employer, make an endeavour to see that the appellant is not deprived of the fruits of his success in the INICET-2020 and is able to pursue post graduate studies.

Relief

The Court rejected the submission that the appellant be admitted in the January 2021 session, since the classes commenced over six months ago and the students who were admitted to that session have completed their first semester and entered the second semester. There could be no question of any direction to admit him to the second semester directly when he has not been able to attend a single class of the first semester.

The question was whether the appellant can be accommodated in the next academic session scheduled to commence in July 2021.

The Court was of the opinion that it cannot fold its arms and remain a mute spectator to the plight of the appellant. After all, “nothing rankles the heart more than a brooding sense of injustice”. It reiterated the preposition of law that:

[In] rare and exceptional cases, a meritorious candidate, who has suffered injustice by reason of his/her inability to secure admission in a medical course, whether under-graduate or postgraduate, due to no fault of his/her own, who has taken recourse to law promptly, without delay, might be granted relief of being accommodated in the same post in the next session.

Since the seat in the post graduate course in PGI, Chandigarh which remained unfilled due to inability of the appellant to join has been carried over to the July 2021 session which was yet to commence, and re-advertised, the Court deemed it appropriate to direct PGI, Chandigarh to admit the appellant to the post graduate course scheduled to commence in July 2021 on the basis of INICET-2020, which he has successfully cleared. Otherwise, according to the Court, the appellant would be irreparably prejudiced.

The Delhi Government was also asked to reconsider appellant’s application for study leave taking into consideration the decline in COVID-19 cases in NCT of Delhi. It was directed that unless there is a substantial rise in COVID-19 cases, the leave application of the appellant shall not be declined.

Clarification

Before concluding, the Court stated that these directions were being passed in exercise of the power under Article 142 of the Constitution in the facts and circumstances of the case; and the instant order will not be treated as a precedent. [Rohit Kumar v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2021 SCC OnLine SC 468, decided on 15-7-2021]


Tejaswi Pandit, Senior Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Indira Banerjee and MR Shah, JJ has directed AIIMS to postpone the Institute of National Importance Combined Admission Test (INI CET) examination by at least a month, after doctors with an MBBS degree, aspiring for admission to the Post Graduate courses for the July 2021 session in the units of AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences), PGIMER Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry and NIMHANS Bengaluru filed a petition calling AIIMS’ decision to conduct INI CET 2021 on 16th June, 2021, hasty.

It was argued,

“… the hasty decision taken by AIIMS to conduct INI CET 2021 on 16th June, 2021 has seriously prejudiced innumerable aspirants for admission to Post Graduate courses of the institutions of national importance, who are serving in Covid hospitals in various parts of the country. Many of them have been rendering services at Covid Centres located far away from the examination centres for which they have opted.”

The INI CET is being conducted to fill up 850 MD and MS seats in 6 units of AIIMS, PGIMER Chandigarh, JIPMER Puducherry and NIMHANS Bengalure. As per submissions before the Court, about 80,000 doctors with the MBBS degree are expected to take the INI CET. Post Graduate courses of medical colleges, other than those mentioned above are through the NEET-PG, which has been postponed beyond 31st August, 2021.

In such circumstances, it was argued, that,

“It would be extremely difficult, if not virtually impossible for many candidates for the INI CET to reach their examination centres from their places of duty. Many of the doctors are exposed to and are running the risk of contracting Covid 19 and they may have to isolate and/or quarantine themselves. Even otherwise holding the INICET on 16th June, 2021 will result in spread of the virus and increase in Covid 19 cases.”

Hence, considering the current scenario and the prayers by the doctors, the Court was of the opinion that the fixing of the INI CET on 16.06.2021 is arbitrary and discriminatory, more so since other important examinations including Joint Entrance Examinations, Board Examinations etc. have been postponed.

The Court, hence, directed that the INI CET be postponed by at least a month from 16th June, 2021.

[Poulami Mondal v. AIIMS, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 424, order dated 11.06.2021]


For Petitioner(s): Mr. Sanjay R. Hegde, Sr. Adv.

Mr. Arvind P Datar, Sr. Adv.

Ms. Sonia Mathur, Sr. Adv.

Ms. Pallavi Pratap, AOR

M/S. Dharmaprabhas Law Associates, AOR

Dr. Charu Mathur, AOR

Mr. Chandrashekhar A. Chakalabbi, Adv.

Mr. Awanish Kumar, Adv.

Mr. Shiv Kumar Pandey, adv.

Mr. Anshul Rai, Adv.

Mr. Shikha Bharadwaj, Adv.

Mr. Abhinav Garg, Adv.

Mr. Sanjay Kumar Dubey, Adv

Ms. Tanvi Dubey, Adv.

Mr. Puneet Pathak, Adv.

For Respondent(s): Mr. Dushyant Parashar, AOR

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): The Division Bench of Dr S.M. Kantikar (Presiding Member) and Dinesh Singh (Member), while addressing the consumer complaint held that:

Mode of treatment/ skill differ from doctor to doctor and the doctor is not liable for negligence if he performs his duty with reasonableness and with due care.

Complainant 1 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the patient’) was suffering from congenital spinal deformity. Her father (complainant 2) consulted Dr Rajendra Prasad and advised Complainant 2 to contact OP 2. The patient was taken to OP 1 who examined the patient and advised urgent surgery and the delay otherwise will aggravate the disease.

Factual Matrix

It was alleged that operation took long time, the patient was taken to operation theatre (OT) at 9 a.m. and operation completed at 5 p.m. After the operation one junior doctor came from OT and informed the complainant 2 that operation was successful. The patient’s father went to see his daughter in the recovery room, but she was in semi-conscious state & crying. At 5.30 p.m., he noticed no movements in her legs and same was informed the duty doctors. The CT scan of the operated area was done and after examining CT report, the Opposite Party 2 expressed with sorry figure to the Complainant 2 and his elder brother, Dr. Sarveshwar Puri that one screw was pressing the spinal cord and as a result thereof the reoperation was necessary for removal of the said screw. It was further alleged that the C-arm was not used during the operation as it was not functioning properly and it was not disclosed by the Opposite Party 2. It was further alleged that during any spinal surgery, presence of Neurosurgeon was must, but in the present case, the operation was performed under the supervision of the Opposite Party 2 only, who was just an orthopaedic surgeon. After the operation on the insistence of the Complainant 2, then only from Neurosurgery Department Dr. S. S. Kale the Neurosurgeon (the Opposite Party 3) was called. Thereafter 2nd operation was conducted at 7.30 pm in the presence of the Neurosurgeon Dr S. S. Kale. The operation ended at 9.00 pm. The patient remained in ICU for 10 days, but no recovery in movements of the lower part of the body.

Patient became paralysed. On being aggrieved, complainants filed the consumer complaint under Section 21(a)(i) of the Consumer Protection Act against the AIIMS and the treating doctors for gross carelessness and deficiency in service causing complete paralysis of lower part of patient’s body and damage to other organs.

Analysis and Decision

Bench noted the fact that OP 2 i.e. the doctor at AIIMS ruled out the presence of any spinal cord anomalies with the help of investigations like CT and MRI of the whole spine. Thereafter, the patient was advised for corrective bony deformative surgery for the patient and in Commission’s opinion, it was reasonable and standard of spinal surgical practice from the AIIMS doctors.

From medical literature from the Standard textbooks on Spinal Surgery it is apparent that any surgical procedure complications are inherent.

It is not uncommon that while putting the rod into a corrective position, at times the screws moves slightly from the original position, which can cause neurological or vascular problem in few patients. 

In the instant matter, as soon as the neurological complication was noticed, the CT scan revealed one of the screws penetrating the spinal cord. Hence the decision to remove the same was taken in consultation with the parents of the child. Methylprednisolone was given as an established treatment protocol in acute spine cord injury and decongestants were given to prevent CSF leak. This cannot be construed as shortcomings or medical negligence.

Therefore, in view of the above discussion, Commission could not find the case of medical negligence and stated that the spinal correction surgery took place as per the accepted standards and referred to the Supreme Court decision in Achutrao Haribhau Khodwa v. State of Maharashtra, (1996) 2 SCC 634.

While adding that the Bench has sympathy for the patient for having Congenital Kyphoscoliosis deformity, however, sympathy cannot substitute for conclusive evidence of medical negligence.

Advice by the Commission:

AIIMS is a premier institute in India, renowned over the decades for its illustrious work. Its ‘Scoliosis and Spine’ Unit has been running since 1976, under ‘Orthopaedics’. We may observe that ‘Scoliosis and Spine’ requires an integrated concomitant approach by both ‘Orthopaedics’ and ‘Neurosurgery’. To take its Unit to the next level, as a systemic improvement, the Director, AIIMS may kindly consider enhanced integration of ‘Orthopaedics’ and ‘Neurosurgery’ in its said Unit, including by posting both ‘Orthopaedics’ and ‘Neurosurgery’ therein as well as working towards creating a speciality in its own right for ‘Spinal Surgery’, having knowledge in both ‘Orthopaedics’ and ‘Neurosurgery’. [Shrishti Puri v. AIIMS, Consumer Case No. 54 of 2007, decided on 09-02-2021]


Advocates who appeared:

For Complainants:

Anand S. Asthana, Advocate
Pankaj Singh, Advocate
Dr Someshwar Puri (complainant – 2)

For Opposite Parties:

Vikrant N. Vasudeva, Advocate

Mr Parv Ahluwalia, Advocate
Sarthak Chiller, Advocate
Dr Arvind Jaiswal (OP-2)

Dr Shashank Shekhar Kale (OP-3)

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: V. Kameswar Rao, J., while addressing an issue wherein a doctor sought for a study leave for pursuing MD/MS Course, stressed upon the ambit of the power of judicial review.

Petitioner sought a direction against respondents 1 and 2 to issue the relieving order and grant study leave to him in order to enable him to pursue MD/MS Course in Pediatrics from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh (PGI) as petitioner satisfied the criteria laid down for grant of study leave in the Office Memorandum dated 02-11-2012.

The request for study leave was denied in view of the prevailing situation i.e., COVID-19.

Further, it was added that the Lt. Governor took a considered view that in these times of Pandemic COVID-19, more medical staff was required. Since some of the doctors had already proceeded on study leave, it would not be prudent to spare more Doctors. Hence the LG desired that the department may kindly be advised to not sanction any more study leave application.

 Analysis, Law and Decision

The decision in regard to study leave came under the decision-making power of the Lt. Governor, Govt. of NCT of Delhi based on the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the city and in the instant case, the said request of the petitioner was not acceded to.

Judicial Review

Court stated that the Court, in exercise of its power of judicial review, cannot sit as an Appellate Authority over the decision taken by the administration/management.

Further, the Bench expressed that the decision was taken giving due regard to the exigencies, which may arise in the course of administration.

“…petitioner being a meritorious candidate, has a legitimate expectation to acquire a higher qualification and advance in his career but at the same time, as an employee working in the Govt. of NCT of Delhi, is bound by the Rules framed by the Government i.e. Rule 50 of the Leave Rules clearly stipulates that the grant of study leave is not a matter of right, as the same shall be granted to the government servant with due regard to the exigencies of public service.”

 Hence, it was held that in view of the Supreme Court decision in State of Punjab v. Dr Sanjay Kumar Bansal, (2009) 15 SCC 168,  when the decision has been taken at the highest level in the Government, this Court cannot sit as an Appellate Authority over such a decision. [Dr Rohit Kumar v. Lt. Governor of Delhi,  2021 SCC OnLine Del 317, decided on 02-02-2021]


Advocates for the parties:

Petitioner: Geeta Luthra, Senior Advocate with Nitin Saluja and Varun Dewan, Advocates

Respondents: Avinash Ahlawat, SC for GNCTD with Tania Ahlawat, Nitesh Kumar Singh and Palak Rohmetra, Advocates

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Manoj Kumar Ohri, J., denied bail to the petitioner who is accused of commission of offence under Section 315 (act done with intent to prevent child being born alive or to cause it to die after birth) and Section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Penal Code, 1860.

The instant application was filed under Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 read with Section 482 CrPC seeking regular bail in the FIR registered under Section 315 of Penal Code, 1860.

Contentions

Petitioners Counsel, Madhusmita Bora, Advocate submitted that the petitioner’s age is 70 years and in terms of the decision in Jacob Mathew v. State of Punjab, (2005) 6 SCC 1, he ought not to have been arrested. Further, it was added that the petitioner is otherwise qualified as a medical surgeon and performed the surgery at the request of the hospital concerned. 

Additionally, it was submitted that the FIR was of the year 2015, but petitioner got arrested in the year 2020.

Neelam Sharma, APP for State submitted that though the FIR was initially registered under Section 315 IPC subsequently, Section 304 IPC was added as the patient had expired. Further, it was added to the submissions that, petitioner was neither on the panel of the hospital nor even a visiting surgeon.

Petitioner, knowing fully well that he was not a qualified Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, still performed the surgery when there was no urgency as the pregnancy was only 19-20 weeks old, which led to the death of the patient.

A complaint was made to Delhi Medical Council, which, after Disciplinary proceedings found all the Doctors concerned guilty of negligence. In fact, it was found that co-accused, Dr Hitender Vashisht, the In-charge/Director of R.P. Memorial Hospital was not even registered with the DMC as he is not the holder of qualification in Modern Scientific System of Medicine and should refrain from pre-fixing ‘Dr.’ to his name.

Petitioners Counsel made a bald assertion that no Doctor ought to be arrested in a case of medical negligence however, it is seen that in the present case, the Investigating Officer has taken an independent opinion from Delhi Medical Council, which conducted the Disciplinary proceedings.

It has been observed that the Disciplinary Committee, comprising of four Doctors, found the petitioner guilty along with other co-accused persons.

In fact, the Disciplinary Committee recommended that the name of the petitioner be removed from the State Medical Register of the Delhi Medical Council for a period of 180 days. The decision was confirmed by Delhi Medical Council and the petitioner’s name was removed for 180 days.

Supreme Court’s decisions in Kalyan Chandra Sarkar v. Rajesh Ranjan, (2004) 7 SCC 528State U.P. v. Amarmani Tripathi, (2005) 8 SCC 21, have considered parameters of a bail application.

Bench observed that the petitioner did not deny the fact that he had performed the alleged surgery on the deceased.

Hence on taking into consideration the Disciplinary Committee’s report and its recommendations, Court prima facie opined that the there was reasonable ground to believe that the petition had committed the offence.

Bail application to the petitioner was denied.[Suresh Chandra Gupta v. NCT of Delhi, 2020 SCC OnLine Del 1594, decided on 09-12-2020]

Case BriefsTribunals/Commissions/Regulatory Bodies

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): A Division Bench of Dr S.M. Kantikar (Presiding Member) and Dinesh Singh (Member), while addressing the issue of medical negligence by the doctors of Christian Medical College, Vellore awarded compensation to the deceased’ wife.

Deceased got admitted to as a private patient at Christian Medical College, Vellore — OP and on being examined it was found to be a case of Coronary Artery Disease.

The treating doctor advised the deceased to undergo Coronary Angiogram test when the same was conducted, the doctor expressed that it would be better if the patient undergoes Coronary Arterial By-pass Graft (CABG) surgery instead of angioplasty to avoid multiple stenting.

After a couple of days, Dr Sujit discontinued medicines Ecospirin and Clopidogrel and started Heparin 5000 units 6 hourly.

Heparin was started without any laboratory investigations and monitoring protocol.

Complainant had notice bleeding at the site of insertion of the needle but the said complaint was ignored by the doctors.

On the 3rd does of Heparin being given to the patient, it was noted that he suffered from a mini-stroke after that.

An immediate CT Scan was to be done but no stroke evaluation was suggested by the doctor. Later the deceased was transferred to the Thoracic surgery unit in Semi-ICU. Neurologist suggested a CT-Brain Plain study but the same was delayed.

The neurologist after conducting the above-stated scan informed the complainant that as the patient already progressed into coma, nothing more could be done. Finally, doctors suggested the family that they should accept the inevitable event and instead of wasting money allow them to withdraw ventilator support.

Later, the complainant took the opinion of several other doctors who said that the delay caused for stroke management was fatal and it was due to lapses in the hospital.

Patients once again suffered a stroke and died on nothing being done by the doctors.

In view of the above-stated, present consumer complaint was filed for medical negligence and callousness of the doctors at CMC causing the death of the patient.

Commission on perusal of the facts and submissions of the case stated that, the high-risk patients living in the hospital/nursing homes or undergoing cardiac procedures should have monitoring systems to help alert the doctor/staff immediately.

Adding to its analysis, the bench also stated that pre-hospital triage and communication between radiologists, neurologists and emergency physicians are more vital.

Delay in diagnosis and management of stroke was a deficiency and not a reasonable or standard of practice.

Another significant setback that was noted was that there was an urgent need for a brain CT scan of the patient but it was delayed for more than 3 hours for the want of a fresh receipt of Rs 1850 towards CT scan charges even though complainants had already deposited 150000 in advance. 

For the above instance, the bench stated,

Hospital has every right to insist the payment but it was also a prime duty to care the emergency patient.

In view of the above, deficiency/negligence was conclusively established and hence ac compensation of Rs 25 lakhs with an interest of 8% p.a was awarded. [Yashumati Devi v. Christian Medical College, 2020 SCC OnLine NCDRC 211, decided on 11-08-2020]


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Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: The vacation bench of Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant, JJ has deferred the hearing on a plea seeking protection of doctors in Government hospitals, saying since doctors have called off their strike in West Bengal and other states, there is no urgency to hear the matter. The bench said it will not issue notice to the Centre but will keep the larger issue of protection of doctors open.

“We agreed to hear the plea today as there was a strike by doctors and medical fraternity in West Bengal and other states. The strike has been called off and there appears no urgency to hear the petition. List (the matter) before an appropriate bench,”

Meanwhile, the Indian Medical Association has also filed an impleadment application seeking the court’s intervention into the plea already filed, saying protection needs to be provided to doctors across the country. The bench said it needs to take a holistic view in providing security to doctors.

“We understand it is a serious issue but we can’t provide security to doctors at the cost of other citizens. We have to take a holistic view. We have to look at the larger picture. We are not against protection to doctors,”

Doctors in Bengal had been on strike since two of their colleagues were assaulted allegedly by relatives of a patient after he died last week. They called off their protest Monday night after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in a meeting assured them of steps by her Government to scale up security at state-run hospitals in the state.

The plea in the Supreme Court was filed on 14.06.2019 to seek directions to Union ministries of home affairs and health and West Bengal to depute government-appointed security personnel at all state-run hospitals to ensure safety and security of doctors. It had also sought directions to Bengal government to take the strictest legal and penal action against those who assaulted the two junior doctors at a hospital in Kolkata. The plea had cited an IMA data to say that more than 75 percent doctors across the country have faced some form of violence. It said the study concluded that 50 percent violent incidents have taken place in the Intensive Care Unit of hospitals and in 70 percent cases, relatives of patients were actively involved.

(Source: PTI)