A US-based Indian origin medical practitioner has moved the Supreme Court seeking contempt of court proceedings against a Kolkata hospital for ignoring the court’s order to pay a penalty of Rs.500,000 for causing his wife’s death due to medical negligence.
Kunal Saha of HIV/AIDS Research Center, Columbus, Ohio, has moved the court, pointing out that Kolkata’s Advanced Medicare Research Institute (AMRI) and its managing director Mani K. Chettri have been ignoring the court’s order for the last seven months.
In his lawsuit, filed through senior counsel T.V. George, Saha said that on Aug 9 last year the apex court indicted prestigious AMRI and four eminent Kolkata doctors for causing the death of his wife Anuradha, a child psychologist, in 1998. She died while undergoing treatment for a common ailment at the hospital in the care of the four doctors — Sukumar Mukherjee, Abani Roychowdhury, Baidyanath Halder and Balaram Prasad, according to Saha’s lawsuit.
The court, after indicting the hospital and the four doctors, referred the matter back to the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which was looking into the case, to decide the quantum of compensation that the hospital and the doctors should pay to the expatriate doctor.
The doctor approached the Supreme Court earlier, demanding a record compensation of Rs. 77.78 crore (Rs.777. 8 million). He challenged the NCDRC’s judgement, which had acquitted the doctors of all charges of medical negligence and malpractice.
But the apex court, on appeal, held them guilty and asked the NCDRC to determine the requisite compensation for the death of Saha’s wife. It also imposed an additional penalty of Rs.500,000 and Rs.100,000 respectively on AMRI and one of the doctors, Mukherjee.
Mukherjee eventually paid the penalty imposed upon him but the hospital had been ignoring the court’s order, Saha’s lawsuit said, uirging the court to initiate contempt to court proceedings against the managing director of the hospital.
The lawsuit also lamented that despite the court’s order, the NCDRC was moving at a snail’s pace in determining the compensation amount.