What is viewed as a truly extraordinary move by any court of law and especially the highest court of the land, Supreme Court bench of chief justice Mr. J.S. Khehar and Mr. D.Y. Chandrachud refused to admit a special leave petition (SLP) filed by PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha against the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) for not taking any disciplinary action against Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee who was primarily responsible for the wrongful death of Dr. Saha’s wife, Anuradha Saha. Dr. Mukherjee was held for gross medical negligence by the SC in 2009 and another bench of the Apex Court awarded the highest ever compensation in 2013 against Dr. Mukherjee and two other doctors as well as AMRI hospital in Kolkata. The Medical Council of India (MCI) also found Dr. Mukherjee guilty for “professional misconduct” and directed the state council to suspend Dr. Mukherjee’s medical license to practice in 2011. But WBMC has maintained that there was nothing wrong with Dr. Mukherjee’s treatment and refused to take any disciplinary action against him despite the Apex Court and MCI’s direction.
Dr. Saha appeared in person before the SC on Friday and made a compassionate plea that the state medical council is doing a great disservice to the society and unless SC steps in to prevent this blatant wrong by the doctors-only members of WBMC, more Anuradhas will continue to die tomorrow. Although the CJI expressed sympathy for Dr. Saha and agreed that no amount of punishment can compensate his loss, the Apex Court also made an incredible jump of logic that Dr. Saha should refrain from fighting more litigations on this case because the guilty doctors have already been punished and most shockingly, the CJI declared that Anuradha would not “rest in peace” as long as Dr. Saha continues legal battle against the doctors who were responsible for her death. The front-page story published in Telegraph has painted an accurate picture what happened in the courtroom on Friday (see below). The court did not get into the vital question that was raised in this SLP, i.e. What happens when a doctor is found negligent by the court of law but the medical council finds nothing wrong with the treatment? Did such action by the WBMC not undermine the sanctity of the Apex Court in clear violation of Article 144 of Indian Constitution that all civil and judicial bodies in India must work in aid of the Supreme Court? Dr. Saha has said that he would file a Review petition against this SC decision.