Another major hurdle against equitable justice for victims of “medical negligence” was crushed this week as a division bench of the Apex Court dismissed the Review petitions filed by AMRI Hospital and Indian Medical Association (IMA) challenging last year’s highest compensation (Rs. 11.5 crore) awarded against AMRI Hospital and three senior Kolkata doctors (Sukumar Mukherjee, Baidyanath Halder and Balaram Prasad) for causing death of Anuradha Saha from gross medical negligence. This means that all the principles framed by the Supreme Court in Anuradha’s judgment for calculation of adequate quantum of compensation against negligent doctors and hospitals must be followed by all consumer courts in cases involving medical negligence.
After Anuradha Saha judgment was delivered on October 24, 2013 by the Apex Court, IMA and other medical groups across India erupted in vociferous protest demanding a “cap” (limit) in the compensation against doctors/hospitals. Although IMA was never a party in Anuradha Saha death case, they also moved an application challenging the principles laid down in the said judgment. While SC outright rejected IMA’s demand to allow them to move a Review petition, Apex Court also dismissed AMRI Hospital’s Review petition stating that there was “no error” in Anuradha’s judgment. Thus, principles laid down in Anuradha’s judgment will now be binding on all courts across India for determination of adequate compensation against doctors/hospitals in future cases of “medical negligence”.