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In a shocking display of deep-rooted corruption and blatant attempt to shield errant doctors, the Registrar of West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC), Mr. D.K. Ghosh, has filed an affidavit in Calcutta High Court (see below) opposing “Internet-videoconferencing” to defend Dr. Sukumar Muherjee and Dr. Baidyanath Halder, two doctors who were found guilty for medical negligence causing death of Anuradha Saha by the Supreme Court as well as Medical Council of India (MCI). The WBMC under control of CPM-backed doctor-members acquitted the two senior Kolkata doctors from all charges of medical negligence in 2002 following which the Apex Court found them guilty for gross medical negligence in 2009. The MCI also found Dr. Mukherjee/Dr. Halder negligent and directed that their medical registrations be suspended against which the two doctors moved the Calcutta High Court. The affidavit was filed last week by WBMC Registrar in relation to the writ petitions filed by Dr. Mukherjee/Dr. Halder after Anuradha’s husband Dr. Kunal Saha, who is also PBT president and a permanent resident of USA, personally appeared before the court in Kolkata and appealed that he may be permitted to attend the court proceedings via “Internet-videoconferencing” from USA. The Calcutta High Court has already permitted “Internet-videoconferencing” to allow Dr. Saha to present his case through the Internet from USA in a separate but related unprecedented case for “criminal defamation” against a retired High Court justice.
While WBMC has not provided a single logical ground as to why they oppose introduction of new technology like “Internet-videoconferencing” for court proceeding, they have made numerous wild allegations against Dr. Saha to support the two guilty doctors. For example, since Dr. Saha submitted that he would be willing to bear any cost which may be associated with the “Internet-videoconferencing” (e.g. renting big-screening projection TV, sound system and high-speed Internet service etc.), WBMC has smelled foul in this as they have made a ridiculous claim, “It is an acknowledged reality that he who pays the piper calls the tune. So he would call the shots meaning thereby somebody who incurs the cost of anything would normally secure its control also” (para 11, WBMC affidavit). Perhaps even more shockingly, WBMC has claimed that during their investigation of Dr. Saha’s complaint against Dr. Mukherjee/Dr. Halder, he had “spoiled huge money and valuable time of not only this Council but also of this Hon’ble Court….” (para 10, WBMC affidavit). Although Dr. Saha had to spend a lot of money and time in his quest for justice for his departed wife by moving the courts against the WBMC which was determined to shield the two guilty doctors by any means, the question should be why WBMC spent “huge money” from the taxpayers only to save two of their errant medical colleagues. In fact, the WBMC is still spending huge amount of money to fight for Dr. Mukherjee/Dr. Halder even now by hiring “Senior Counsel” in the ongoing writ petitions (para 7, 10). Why the present WBMC has continued to spend huge amount of government’s money to pay for senior advocates only to defend Dr. Muherjee/Dr. Halder?
One year after the end of the ruling by the Left-front government, the new Trinomul government led by Mamta Banerjee has done virtually nothing to improve the shabby healthcare system or to curb the rampant corruption in the state medical Council. CPM-backed doctor-members have been removed from WBMC only to make way for an equally devious and incompetent Adhoc WBMC with 10 hand-picked doctor-members who are loyal to the Trinomul party (PBT has already filed a PIL in Calcutta HC challenging the Adhoc WBMC). Complaints against doctors have continued to pile up in WBMC office with no hope for the countless victims of medical negligence. Despite regular reports of horrific deaths and injuries from alleged medical negligence, no doctor is found guilty or lost his/her medical registration by the WBMC. It is clear that no matter which political party runs the government, they all cater only to the rich and powerful medical lobby with little or no concern for the hapless patients and countless victims of medical negligence.