HC: Prescribing medicines without diagnosis amounts to culpable negligence

Mumbai:  The Bombay High Court has turned down the anticipatory bail pleas of a doctor couple booked for the death of a woman patient,observing that prescribing medicines to patients without diagnosis amounted to culpable negligence.

Justice Sadhana Jadhav made the observations yesterday while hearing the anticipatory bail pleas filed by a gynaecologist couple – Deepa and Sanjeev Pawaskar.

The doctors have been booked by the Ratnagiri Police under section 304 of Indian Penal Code (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) after the patient died earlier this year.
According to the police, the woman was admitted to the accused couple’s hospital in Ratnagiri in February this year where she underwent caesarean operation and gave birth to a baby.
The court order said The woman and the child were normal and were discharged two days later.
However, the next day the woman fell sick and her relatives called up Deepa Pawaskar, who asked them to go to a medicine shop and let her speak with the chemist there over phone, it said.
The doctor spoke with the chemist who then gave some medicines to the relatives of the woman. However, even after taking the medicines, the woman did not feel better and was taken to the same hospital, it said.

Both Deepa and Sanjeev Pawaskar were not present at the hospital at that time but they told the woman’s family that they should admit her and she would be discharged the next day, the order said.
When the woman’s condition deteriorated the next day, the doctors at the hospital shifted her to another hospital, where she died, it said.
The doctors at the second hospital informed the victim’s kin that she had died due to negligence on part of the Pawaskars, following which a case was registered against them, the order said.
The high court noted that there was no effort to refer the woman to another doctor in the absence of Deepa Pawaskar and she (Deepa) continued to prescribe medicines telephonically.

“There was no resident medical officer or any other doctor to look after the patient in the absence of Deepa and Sanjeev Pawaskar even when the couple knew that they would not be available in the hospital,” the court said.
“Prescription without diagnosis would amount to culpable negligence. This amounts to gross negligence from the point of standard of care and recklessness and negligence, which is a tricky road to travel,” it said.

The accused couple, in their pleas, argued that they could not be charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder and should, at the most, be booked under section 304 (A) (causing death due to negligence).
Under section 304 (A), a person, if found guilty, faces a maximum punishment of two years in jail. Under section 304, a convicted person can be sentenced to life imprisonment.
The high court, however, said that in the present case, the applicants took the risk of doing something with recklessness and indifference to the consequences.

“An error in diagnosis could be negligence and covered under section 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code. But this is a case of prescription without diagnosis and, therefore, culpable negligence,” Justice Jadhav said.
“When a doctor fails in his duty, is it not tantamount to criminal negligence ? The courts cannot ignore the ethical nature of the medical law by liberally extending the legal protection to the medical professionals…,” the order said.

The couple also claimed that this case fell under the purview of a civil liability and hence, they could be directed to pay compensation to the victim’s family.
To this, Justice Jadhav said mere monetary compensation cannot buy a child her mother and a husband his wife.
The court noted that medical professionals have been put on a pedestal and time has come to weed out careless and negligent persons in the medical profession.

“Segregation of reckless and negligent doctors in the profession will go a great way in restoring the honour and prestige of large number of doctors and hospitals who are devoted to their profession and scrupulously follow the ethics and principles of the noble profession,” it said.
The court rejected the pleas, but stayed its order till August 2 to allow the accused couple to file appeals against the order.

Supreme Court holds Sidhu guilty in road rage case, spares him jail term

The Supreme Court today convicted Punjab Tourism Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for voluntarily causing hurt to a 65-year-old man but spared him a jail term in the 1988 road rage case.

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said Sidhu is guilty of Section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and is fined Rs 1,000 for the offence.

“A1 (Sidhu) is guilty of Section 323 of IPC. Awarded no sentence but fine of Rs 1,000 for the offence. A2 (Rupinder Singh Sandhu) is acquitted,” the bench said.

On April 18, the apex court had reserved its judgement in the case in which Sidhu had claimed that evidence about the cause of death of the victim Gurnam Singh was contradictory and medical opinion on the issue was “vague”.

Besides Sidhu, who quit the BJP and joined the Congress days before the Punjab assembly election last year, an appeal was also filed by Rupinder Singh Sandhu, also convicted and sentenced to three years in jail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2006.

According to the prosecution, Sidhu and Sandhu were allegedly in a Gypsy parked in the middle of a road near the Sheranwala Gate Crossing in Patiala on December 27, 1988, when the victim and two others were on their way to the bank to withdraw money.

It was alleged that when they reached the crossing, Gurnam Singh, driving a Maruti car, found the Gypsy in the middle of the road and asked the occupants, Sidhu and Sandhu, to remove it. This led to heated exchanges.

The police had claimed that Singh was beaten up by Sidhu who later fled the crime scene. The victim was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead.

On April 12, the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government had favoured in the top court the high court’s judgement convicting and awarding of the three-year jail term to Sidhu.

Earlier, the counsel for the state had told the apex court that “the trial court verdict was rightly set aside by the High Court. Accused A1 (Navjot Singh Sidhu) had given fist blow to deceased Gurnam Singh leading to his death through brain hemorrhage”.

The state had argued that the trial court was wrong in its finding that the man had died of cardiac arrest and not brain haemorrhage.

The counsel for the complainant had argued that Sidhu’s sentence should be enhanced as it was a case of murder and the cricketer-turned-politician had deliberately removed the keys of deceased’s car so he did not get medical assistance.

Sidhu was acquitted of the murder charges by the trial court in September 1999.

However, the high court had reversed the verdict and held Sidhu and Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in December 2006. It had sentenced them to three years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the convicts.

In 2007, the apex court had stayed the conviction of Sidhu and Sandhu in the case, paving the way for him to contest the by-poll for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

Can’t frame guidelines on FIRs for dowry harassment cases: SC

Can't frame guidelines on FIRs for dowry harassment cases: SC
Can’t frame guidelines on FIRs for dowry harassment cases: SC

The Supreme Court today said it does not intend to frame guidelines for the police regarding registration of FIRs on subjecting a married woman to cruelty for dowry, as the process has to be governed by statutory provisions.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, apparently disagreed with the guidelines framed by a two-judge bench on how to proceed in dowry harassment cases and said it would hear the matter in the third week of January next year.

“Who are we to decide as to how the police will register an FIR under section 498-A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the IPC. There cannot be any guidelines on FIR registration under section 498-A and it has to be guided as per the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

“Section 498-A is in the statute book and the law will take its own course. We do not intend to frame any guideline,” the bench observed.

The top court was hearing pleas filed by NGOs Social Action Forum and ‘Nyayadhar’ alleging that such guidelines have created roadblocks in the registration of FIRs in such cases and the penal provision be allowed to operate as per the statute.

The pleas have claimed that such fetters have rendered “valueless” the “helpful instrument” of law as envisaged under section 498A of the IPC.

On July 27, the two-judge bench of the apex court had voiced concern over “abuse” of the anti-dowry law and directed that no arrest should “normally be effected” without verifying allegations as violation of human rights of innocents cannot be brushed aside.

It had passed a slew of directions to deal with complaints under section 498A of the IPC and observed that many such complaints were not bonafide and “uncalled for arrest” may ruin the chances of settlement.

The two-judge bench had also directed that in every district, one or more family welfare committees should be constituted by the District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA) and every complaint received by police or the magistrate under this provision should be referred to the committee and looked into by it.

It had said that such committees may comprise para legal volunteers, social workers, retired persons, wives of working officers and others who may be found suitable and willing.

The bench had also said if a bail plea is filed in such a matter, it may be decided as far as possible on the same day with at least one day’s notice to the public prosecutor or the complainant.

Regarding persons residing abroad, it had said the process of impounding of passports or issuance of Red Corner Notice should not be a routine.

The apex court had also said that personal appearance of all family members and particularly out-station members may not be required and the trial court ought to grant exemption from personal appearance or permit appearance by video conferencing without adversely affecting progress of trial.

It had, however, clarified that “these directions will not apply to the offences involving tangible physical injuries or death”.

( Source – PTI )

Delhi HC rejects plea of suspected ISIS operative

The Delhi High Court has rejected a suspected ISIS operative’s plea seeking nod to inspect the documents, submitted by the NIA to a trial court in a case relating to the alleged charges of recruiting and financing people to join the terror group.

A bench of justices G S Sistani and Vinod Goel said that the case was related to the “larger conspiracy” by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and further investigation in the matter was going on.

The court also said that a charge sheet has already been filed in the case and the material relied upon by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would be part of the final report filed by the investigators.

Delhi-based Islamic scholar Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi had approached the high court challenging a special court’s December order by which he was denied the copy of documents submitted by the NIA in sealed covers.

Upholding the special court order, the bench referred to the agency’s affidavit before it which said that during the investigation, credible intelligence inputs were received that a module for ISIS was active in different parts of the country and is engaged in recruiting Muslim youth for the banned terror group.

“The input was developed and raids were conducted in different cities at different locations. Eighteen accused persons were arrested in the instant case and incriminating literature, material to fabricate IEDs, electronic devices and money received through hawala channels were seized from the possession of the accused,” the bench noted in its order.

According to the NIA, Qasmi was the first cleric to be arrested in the case from Uttar Pradesh’s Hardoi district on February 5, 2016.

The NIA claimed that he was “delivering provocative and inflammatory speeches and was instigating youths for anti- national activities”.

The agency, in its affidavit, has also claimed that Qasmi “in the guise of a religious preacher was inciting, motivating and abetting Muslim youths, who sought his guidance in waging violent jihad and supporting and joining the ISIS”.

The charge sheet was filed for the alleged offences under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The agency had filed an FIR in the matter on December 9, 2015 against unknown and unidentified persons involved in the activities of ISIS in India and Asian powers in peace with India on inputs received from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

On October 5, 2015, 23-year-old accused Naser Packeer was apprehended by Sudani authorities for concealing his identity and trying to join ISIS in Syria. Later, he was deported to India on December 10, 2015.

The accused persons against whom the agency had filed the charge sheet include Mohd Aleem, Mohd Obaidullah Khan, Nafees Khan, Mohd Shareef Moinuddin Khan, Asif Ali, Najmul Huda, Mudabbir Mushtaq Shaikh, Mohd Abdul Ahad, Suhail Ahmed, Syed Mujahid, Mohd Hussain Khan, Mohd Afzal, Imran and Abu Anas.

They were arrested from different parts of the country for allegedly recruiting and financing people to join the terror organisation.


SFI, DYFI activists get bail

Eight leaders of the CPI(M)’s youth and student wings, arrested for damaging government properties during a demonstration last week, were granted bail today by a city court.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satya Arnab Roy of Bankshall Court here granted bail to the eight activists of the Students Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) on bail bonds of Rs 100 each.

The eight were arrested on March under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the newly-enacted provisions of the West Bengal Maintenance of Public Order Amendment Act 2017 that stipulates payment of compensation by an agitator who damages public or private properties in a stir.

Chief Public Prosecutor Pijush Kanti Mandal submitted to the court that the eight had indulged in violence and damaged fencings and public address systems of the police on being asked to disperse during an agitation at the Esplanade area.

The counsel for the accused persons sought bail for them arguing that the police had applied unnecessary force on a peaceful demonstration to disperse the agitators.

They were arrested on March 10 from the spot and were under judicial remand till today.

The court granted bail to all the eight accused after hearing the both parties.

The SFI and DYFI activists had organized a march to Raj Bhavan to protest the alleged irregularities in recruitment primary teachers in the state.

Source : PTI

Kejriwal put on trial in defamation case.

aap.1Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was today put on trial by a city court for alleged offence of defamation in a criminal complaint filed against him by BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri.

Metropolitan Magistrate Harvinder Singh passed the order after which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, who was present before the court, pleaded not guilty and stated that he will contest the case.

The court framed the notice under section 499 and 500 of Indian Penal Code, which deal with the offence of defamation.

In his complaint, Bidhuri had alleged that Kejriwal had defamed him in an interview to a news channel.

During the proceedings, the court also granted Kejriwal permanent exemption from personal appearance in the case. The court, however, said the AAP politician may be asked to appear personally in the case, if the need arose.

The court has now fixed December 23 as the next date of hearing in the case.

During the hearing, the Chief Minister said he had no intention to defame the BJP lawmaker, a claim contested by Bidhuri.

Kejriwal, who was summoned as an accused in the complaint filed by Bidhuri, was granted bail by the court on July 8 after he appeared before it and furnished a personal bond of Rs 10,000.

He was summoned as accused by the court in February this year on a criminal defamation complaint filed by Bidhuri, an MP from South Delhi parliamentary constituency, under section 500 (defamation) of the IPC.

Bidhuri had claimed that during the interview, Kejriwal had falsely said that criminal cases were pending against Bidhuri and a Congress leader but Delhi Police was not taking action against them.

Bidhuri has claimed that no case was pending against him and Kejriwal had defamed him by giving such a statement.

Bilal sentenced to life for waging war against India

Bilal sentenced to life for waging war against India
Bilal sentenced to life for waging war against India

A city court today sentenced Imran alias Bilal, who has been convicted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including waging a war and conspiring against the Indian government, to undergo life imprisonment.

Sessions Court Judge Kottaraiah M Hiremath awarded life imprisonment to Bilal, convicted yesterday, for committing crimes under Section 121 of IPC (waging or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against government of India).

The judge also awarded life imprisonment under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, besides imposing a total fine of Rs 2.75 lakh on him.

He also sentenced Bilal to 10 years imprisonment under Section 121 A of IPC for conspiring to commit certain offences against the state.

Hiremath sentenced Bilal to 10 years imprisonment under Section 122 of IPC (collecting arms, etc, with the intention of waging war against Government of India).

Bilal also was sentenced 10 years imprisonment for possessing weapons and firearms, including AK-47 assault rifle and ammunition.

All the sentences will run concurrently.

Bilal, who was convicted in Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested in Bengaluru in 2007 for possessing weapons and plans to attack IT companies.

He was picked up from his Hospet residence on the night of December 28, 2007.

Police had seized Bilal’s bag containing an AK-47 assault rifle,300 live rounds of AK-47 ammunition, four AK-47 magazines, five hand grenades, a satellite phone, mobile phones, SIM cards, a Bengaluru city map and other documents.

Bilal had studied in a private polytechnic here.

( Source – PTI )

Court denies NRI bail for Facebook post on Gujarat CM’s kin

A local court denied a pre-arrest bail today to a non-resident Indian (NRI) facing a case of allegedly posting a lewd message on Facebook about GujaratChief Minister Anandiben Patel’s granddaughter. 

bailrejected the application of the accused Roshan Shah since the offence is bailable and because anticipatory bail cannot be sought under Section 438 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). 

As per Section 438 of the CrPC, bail can be sought before the High Court or the sessions court for non-bailable offences only. 

Meanwhile, the cybercell of the city crime branch has filed a First Information Report (FIR) against Shah under the Information Technology Act and Section 354 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (sexual harassment), on the basis of a complaint filed by one Akshay Patel. 

Public prosecutor Sudhir Brahambhatt, who appeared for the Crime Branch, said that the offence is bailable (where bail is mandatory), and hence there was no need to grant anticipatory bail. 

However, Shah had contented that he is innocent and was framed by the police, since he had earlier tried to file an FIR against Gujarat Chief Minister Patel for alleged misappropriation at Ranip police station here, which the police had declined to register. 

When he raised the issue on Facebook, some other person posted a comment with a photograph of Patel’s granddaughter, Shah said.

Gauhati HC bench questions validity of CBI

CBI1A division bench of the Gauhati High Court has questioned the validity of India’s premier investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Passing an order on a writ petition, the division bench comprising Justice I.A. Ansari and Indira Shah Wednesday set aside and quashed the very resolution issued by the union Home Ministry April 1, 1963, under which the CBI was constituted.

The high court observed that a police force with powers to investigate crime cannot be constituted by merely issuing an executive order. For that purpose, an act shall have to be passed by the legislature, the court said, in its judgment.

The division bench of the Gauhati High Court passed the orders on a writ appeal filed by one Navendra Kumar.

The CBI had registered a case against Kumar, an employee of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in Assam, under Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code in 2001.

After the registration of the case, Kumar, however, filed a writ petition in the high court challenging the constitution of the CBI by claiming it was ultra vires, and sought quashing of the FIR registered against him by the investigating agency.

A single-judge bench of the high court, however, rejected the petition.

Following this, Kumar filed a fresh writ appeal before a division bench that passed the judgment Wednesday. The division bench of Justice Ansari and Shah also quashed the chargesheet filed by the CBI against Kumar, and aborted his trial.

The order asked: “Could a ‘police force’, empowered to ‘investigate’ crimes, have been created and constituted by a mere Resolution of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, in purported exercise of its executive powers?”

“Could a ‘police force’, constituted by a Home Ministry Resolution, arrest a person accused of committing an offence, conduct search and seizure, submit charge-sheet and/or prosecute alleged offender?”

The judgment has created ripples in the legal fraternity here.

Senior advocate of the Gauhati High Court Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury said: “According to the judgment, the CBI is created only by a mere executive order passed by the then secretary of the Union Home Ministry. If that is so, it has constitutional validity.”

“This is going to create a big problem, as people of the country have great faith in the CBI,” he said. He added that one must wait till the Supreme Court clarifies the matter.


Bombay HC sets aside life term awarded by lower court in killing case

On the judgment of a lower court the Bombay High Court has quashed in which the lower court had awarded life sentence to a man in 2008 for killing his brother with a sickle over property dispute.

During the hearing of an appeal, the court found the appellant guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 part I of Indian Penal Code and sentenced him to eight years imprisonment.

A division bench of Justices P D Kode and V K Tahilramani were of the opinion that the appellant Haridas Mahale had the intention to kill his brother and hence he dealt a heavy blow with a sickle to cause death.

This offence falls under section 304 part I of IPC, which takes into account the intention of the accused to kill a person, the judges noted in a recent order while sending the appellant to jail for eight years.

The court took into account the version of Lila, an eyewitness to the incident and sister-in-law of appellant Haridas Mahale.