Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: Sangeet Lodha, J., dismissed a writ petition seeking directions from the Court for re-examination of medical test for the position of Assistant Commandment in Central Police Forces.

The present case arose from a challenge by the petitioner against the action of the respondent declaring the petitioner medically unfit for the position of Assistant Commandant in Central Police Forces (CPFs). The respondent Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) had issued an advertisement inviting applications for the recruitment of Assistant Commandant in CPFs. The petitioner, being already employed as Sub Inspector in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), applied for the said post. He underwent the selection process and was declared successful. During the petitioner’s medical examination he was declared unfit on certain grounds. The petitioner was directed to appear before the Review Medical Board, where he was again declared unfit.

The petitioner submitted that he got himself examined separately in his unit by the Medical Officer of CRPF, who certified the petitioner to be fit for appointment on the post of Assistant Commandant. Thereafter, he got himself examined by the Medical Board consisting of civilian doctors who also certified that the petitioner is medically and physically fit and can perform any kind of duty. Thus, it was contended by the petitioner that he was wrongly declared as being physically and medically unfit for recruitment to the post of Assistant Commandant.

A reply was filed on behalf of the respondents, who stated that the petitioner on being found qualified in Physically Efficiency Test (PET), a detailed medical examination conducted by the CPFs Medical Board consisting of three specialists viz. Physician, Surgeon and Ophthalmologist and was thereafter declared as medically unfit. They reiterated that the Review Medical Board also declared the petitioner as medically unfit.

The Court upon perusal of the facts and circumstances of the case stated that the petitioner being declared as medically fit by the Medical Board consisting of civilian doctors merely on the basis of the certificate which does not specify the tests that were conducted by them for examination cannot be considered for the Court to direct for re-examination of the petitioner, more so after a lapse of fifteen years. [Satya Narayan v. Union of India,  2020 SCC OnLine Raj 363, decided on 06-03-2020]

Case BriefsForeign Courts

Court of Appeal of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka: A Division Bench of K.K. Wickremasinghe and K. Priyantha Fernando, JJ., dismissed an appeal filed aggrieved by the judgment of High Court which convicted the three appellants for the count of murder punishable under Section 296 to be read with Section 32 of the Penal Code, sentencing them to death and the fourth appellant was convicted for a lesser offence punishable under Section 314 of the Penal Code. The appellants contended that prosecution had failed to prove the charge against the 1st Appellant beyond a reasonable doubt, there appears a conflict of evidence between the witnesses; evidence led at the trial negates common murderous intention on the part of 2nd and 3rd appellant and thus imputation of vicarious liability was legally and factually flawed.

The deceased was a police officer. His wife was a school teacher and the deceased and the wife were living in the teacher’s quarters inside the school premises. The witness stated that when she had gone for band practices she saw the 2nd and 3rd appellant had gone to the quarters that the deceased was living and had tapped on the door and then they were seen fighting and then the deceased went inside and the appellants moved towards the road. After a while the deceased had come out of the house, dressed in his police uniform and had gone towards the road, then the 2nd and 3rd Appellants and the 4th  Accused carrying poles had come towards the deceased and had assaulted him. Another witness had told that the 1st Appellant had stabbed the deceased.

The Court while dismissing the appeal held that the Trial Judge had considered all the evidence adduced at the trial, analyzed the same and rightly decided that the 1st Appellant stabbed the deceased that caused his death, there was no evidence of the 1st Appellant using his right of self-defence, at the trial and there was found no conflict between the evidence of the witnesses that would affect their credibility. Lastly, as per the established facts, the intention was clear that it was to kill the deceased when that injury was caused. There were 10 more injuries observed by the Medical Officer who conducted the autopsy on the body of the deceased, thus the High Court has rightly come to the correct conclusion that the prosecution has proved the charge of murder against the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Appellants beyond a reasonable doubt. [Maduwanage Francis Wimalaratne v. Attorney General, Court of Appeal Case No. HCC 226-227 of 2012, decided on 17-01-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: A Bench of T.V. Nalwade and Mangesh S Patil, JJ., refused to quash a criminal case registered against a Medical Officer (applicant) for an offence punishable under Section 304-A (causing death by negligence) IPC.

Seema (now deceased), who was pregnant at the time relevant, was admitted to the Government Hospital for her delivery. She was admitted at about 8:50 am. The duty time of the applicant (Medical officer of the Hospital) was from 8 am onwards, but he was not present in the hospital. Therefore, Seema was admitted by a nurse and she delivered a child at about 9.10 am. After delivery, Seema suffered bleeding. Realising development of the complications, the nurse informed the applicant on the phone. However, he did not turn up till 10 am, and ultimately Seema passed away. The applicant was booked under Section 304-A on the complaint of Seema’s father.

Represented by Ganesh V. Mohekar, Advocate, the applicant sought quashing of the case. Per contra, S.B. Joshi, Additional Public Prosecutor opposed his application.

As per the High Court, there was sufficient record to infer that Seema’s death occurred due to the applicant’s negligence. Rejecting applicant’s submission that it was anyway a high-risk case due to ‘placenta postrioely low lying’, the Court said: ” In that case also it can be said that it is the duty of the medical officer to remain present and when it is a case of high risk his presence is a must. The record is sufficient for the present purpose to infer that he was never diligent in discharging his duty and on that day due to his negligence Seema died.”

Relying on Jayshree Ujwal Ingole v. State of Maharashtra, (2017) 14 SCC 571, it was held that all the tests to ascertain applicant’s negligence were satisfied. [Dr Ravindra v. State of Maharashtra, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 616, Order dated 09-04-2019]