Mr. M.N. Krishnamani, renowned Sr. Advocate and four times president of the Supreme Court Bar Association has passed away from sudden cardiac failure earlier this week in Bangalore. Apart from his numerous noteworthy legal performances in the Supreme Court and High Courts over the past almost four decades, Mr. Krishnamani was given the prestigious Padmashree Award last year for his outstanding contribution to the society. He has been a long-standing legal counsel for the PBT and appeared in many historic public interest litigations (PILs) over the past 17 years that have already brought major changes toward improving the standard of healthcare and medical education in India. Mr. Krishnamani also appeared on behalf of many hapless victims of medical negligence including the historic case of Anuradha Saha. It will be difficult to find any attorney in India who is more efficient and knowledgable in cases involving “medical negligence” and Constitution of India. Over the years, Mr. Krishnamani also became a mentor and close friend of PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha. He visited Dr. Saha in USA on several occasions including a trip last summer (see picture of Mr. Krishnamani and Dr. Saha below at Disney World in Florida). PBT and ordinary people of India will deeply miss the unselfish contribution by the most kind and truly devoted senior advocate and social reformer, Mr. M.N. Krishnamani.
According to the information obtained from the special bench (Prevention of Corruption Act) in the CBI Patiala House Court in New Delhi for hearing of the criminal case for alleged bribery and corruption against disgraced ex-MCI president, Dr. Ketan Desai, the case was adjourned today (February 6) to 23rd February, 2017 for next hearing for “consideration of renewal of passport” (see court Order below). This historic criminal case against Dr. Desai started almost 7 years ago after Desai (then sitting MCI president) was caught red-handed by the CBI in a sting operation in April, 2010 for taking a bribe of Rs. 2 crore from a private medical college allegedly in exchange of granting MCI recognition to start new MBBS course. After staying in jail for six months, Desai was released on bail in October, 2010. As the case has languished in the Indian judicial system, Desai managed to promote himself to the prestigious post of World Medical Association (WMA) president last year through blatant lies by several senior MCI and IMA members that all criminal charges against Dr. Desai have been dropped by the Indian authority evan as his medical registration remains suspended by the MCI.
In a landmark decision that may have far-reaching consequences in our fight against medical corruption, Central Information Commission (CIC) has delivered scathing criticism of the Medical Council of India (MCI) for their deliberate attempt to suppress information related to a wide-range of healthcare issues including investigation of complaints of “medical negligence”, appointment of Inspectors for medical colleges and ongoing investigation of disgraced ex-MCI president, Dr. Ketan Desai (see the CIC Judgment below). This matter emerged after PBT sought information (under RTI Act, 2005) from MCI about their failure to upload Ethics Committee investigation of doctors since 2013 and their reluctance to provide any response to critical questions like the status of medical license of Dr. Ketan Desai or about the qualification of medical inspectors hired by the MCI to inspect medical colleges for approval or disapproval to teach medical courses.
After MCI provided blatantly evasive response to the specific questions posed by the PBT, appeal was filed with the CIC against the sinister role of the MCI. PBT President, Dr. Kunal Saha, personally appeared to argue this matter on behalf of PBT before the CIC during his recent trip to India and CIC has delivered this historic judgment today. Almost on every issue raised by the PBT, CIC has agreed with the PBT and directed MCI to come clean and provide the answers within 3 weeks time. Better transparency with investigation of complaints against doctors including the more than 6 years long investigation of disgraced Ketan Desai (who is still free on bail, waiting for criminal trial on serious charges for bribery) will go a long way toward removing the rampant corruption in India’s healthcare delivery and medical education systems.
While the Modi government has been clamoring for more transparency to build a “clean” Bharat in order to gather public support, a quick glance to the Medical Council of India website (www.mciindia.org) would demonstrate how corruption and non-transparency are still is the name of the game in the highest government body for regulation of healthcare and medical education. Complaints against doctors for medical negligence and ethical violation are supposed to be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action against the guilty doctors to be taken by members of the MCI Ethics Committee.
It is a common knowledge today that despite frequent news of horrific death of patients from alleged medical negligence, hardly any doctors are held “guilty” by the MCI. Even more shocking, no information is shown whatsoever on MCI website about the proceedings (“minutes”) of the MCI Ethics Committee meetings held since 2013. Although detail minutes of the Ethics Committee meetings were regularly posted on MCI website for public view for 2011, 2012 and 2013, it abruptly stopped on 18th October, 2013. Ironically, the present MCI members (most of whom are well-known cronies of disgraced ex-MCI president, Dr. Ketan Desai) came to power in December, 2013. So, it is obvious that the present MCI does not want to show what goes on behind closed doors to investigate their allegedly negligent and unethical medical colleagues. Do we need to explain why? Will the Modi government and health minister, Mr. J.P. Nadda, wake up and take immediate measures to cleanse the obvious corruption inside the highest medical regulatory body in India? PBT has already lodged a complaint with the Central Information Commission against this overt non-transparency inside the MCI. Hearing has been concluded on 9th January, 2017 and an important judgment is awaited.
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.
In a historic and unprecedented order passed against Dr. Alok Khan, an neurosurgeon from Kolkata accused of causing death of a patient from a botched brain surgery, division bench presided by Justice D.K. Jain, president of the National Consumer Forum (NCDRC), has directed Dr. Khan and the nursing home (owned by Dr. Khan) to pay a penalty of Rs. 1 lakh “for their absence before the State Commission as well as for the delay in the complaint attaining finality” (see the NCDRC Judgment below).
Shamali Sikdar, widow of the alleged victim, came to PBT in 2012 seeking help in her quest for justice after her husband died following a botched surgery for a non-malignant brain tumor. Dr. Kunal Saha, PBT president, argued before the State Commission in West Bengal on behalf of the victim while the accused doctor delayed the proceedings for years by not accepting legal notice from the court. The State Commission eventually delivered an ex perte verdict last year awarding Rs. 25.5 lakh (including Rs. 50,000 as legal cost) against Dr. Khan against which the doctor moved the NCDRC. While remanding the case back to the State Commission to give an opportunity to the accused doctor to put up his defense, NCDRC has also directed that the matter must be completed within a period of 6 months. Further, considering PBT’s benevolent attempt to pro bono help for the victim and Dr. Saha’s situation, NCDRC has also directed that the State Commission should consider the fact that Dr. Saha is generally a resident of USA while fixing the hearing dates.
A new writ petition (PIL) is filed in the Supreme Court of India seeking direction to the Medical Council of India (MCI) and Indian government to take steps for immediate removal of disgraced ex-MCI president, Dr. Ketan Desai, from the post of World Medical Association (WMA) president. The PIL has also sought stringent disciplinary action against three long-term Desai supporters and senior MCI/IMA members (Dr. Ajay Kumar, Dr. Vinay Aggarwal and Dr. Sudipto Roy) for their blatant lie before the WMA that all charges against Dr. Desai have been withdrawn by the Indian authority that recently prompted the world medical body to reinstate Dr. Desai as WMA president. Dr. Desai is still waiting for his criminal trial to begin in the CBI ‘trap” case after he was caught red-handed for taking 2 crore rupees from a private medical college in exchange of granting MCI recognition to admit MBBS students when Desai was still the MCI president in 2010. PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha, has traveled to India to further this and other medico-legal cases and to promote PBT’s continued battle against medical negligence and healthcare corruption. The new PIL is likely to be listed for hearing after the Supreme Court reopens on January 3.
PBT is planning to organize a massive public rally in central Kolkata on Thursday (December 29, 2016) demanding expedited justice for the victims of medical negligence and cleansing of the medical councils that have been riddled with corruption. Despite frequent reports of death of innocent patients from reckless treatment and wide-spread healthcare corruption appearing in the news on a regular basis, hardly any doctor is found guilty by the medical regulatory authorities. Legal proceedings for compensation against the errant doctors are also languishing in the consumer courts for years and decades because large number of consumer complaints against trivial defective commercial products are stacked together with serious cases of death from alleged medical negligence. PBT plans to raise these important issues that are crippling the medical system through peaceful public protest rally starting at 1 pm from Esplanade (Y-Channel) on December 29 2016. All victims of medical negligence and conscientious citizens are invited to join this public rally to make our voice heard for a better healthcare delivery system in the future. PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha, will also join this public rally coming from USA. Please contact PBT head office at 9143650171/9831983670/9836706952 for more information.
In a scathing rebuke to the editorial questioning the decision to promote disgraced Dr. Ketan Desai to the post of World Medical Association (WMA) president published last month in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) (see original editorial below),Indian Medical Association (IMA) president-elect, Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, has not only staunchly defended Dr. Desai, he has also viciously attacked the authors of the BMJ editorial and suggested that they criticized Dr. Desai because they all had “vested interests” (see the BMJ correspondences below). However, Dr. Aggarwal, who frequently goes before the media in vociferous support of Dr. Desai, has provided absolutely no evidence as how the editors of a highly regarded international medical journal may have any interest for going against Dr. Desai.
Even more shockingly, Dr. Aggarwal has also said that IMA has already drawn conclusion that Dr. Desai is absolutely innocent in the main CBI bribery case (for which Dr. Desai was arrested in 2010 for accepting Rs. 2 crore from Gyan Sagar Medical College allegedly in exchange to granting MCI permission to admit MBBS students) based on information including internal reports from the health department. Ironically, CBI has already filed charge-sheet in this case with specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing against Dr. Desai who is waiting for the trial to begin. Does IMA leaders know more than the top law-enforcing agency in India or is it only a disgraceful attempt by Desai cronies who are in charge of the IMA and MCI to obstruct the course of justice to sway the course of the criminal trial for Dr. Desai, the biggest medical mafia in Indian medical history?
Doctors across India, under the guidance of IMA leaders who recently backed disgraced ex-MCI president Dr. Ketan Desai to the prestigious post of World Medical Association (WMA) president, have started public demonstration in protest of the proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill that plans to instill new changes for accountability in the widely-known MCI corruption including laws to bring non-doctor members in regulation of medical education and practice of medicine in India. The IMA leaders have demanded that government must bring changes in law so that no doctor can be sued for medical negligence under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). While the BJP government has proposed many plans over the past two years seemingly for better protection of patients and against medical corruption, almost all of these anti-corruption proposals have proved to be nothing more than empty political gimmick until now. PBT president has called these IMA demonstrations as obvious attempts to further shield healthcare and MCI corruption (see the news at this link http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2016/nov/16/doctors-to-stage-protest-against-scrapping-of-medical-council-act-1539150.html).
All leaders of the national IMA including its president-elect, Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, are nothing but cronies of the tainted ex-MCI chief, Dr. Ketan Desai. Even most of the leaders of the MCI are also known to be close to Dr. Desai as MCI has remained absolutely silent and refused to take any action against three of their senior members (Dr. Ajay Kumar, Dr. Sudipto Roy and Dr. Vinay Aggarwal) who were found guilty by the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) for unethical conduct in helping Dr. Desai to regain the post of WMA president through blatant lies that all charges against Dr. Desai have been dropped by the Indian authority. PBT has already sent a legal notice to the MCI and is planning to move a new PIL against the rampant corruption in the MCI and IMA. PBT is also organizing nation-wide public awareness programs to bring people to stand up against the wide-spread medical corruption in India.
Disgraced ex-MCI president, Dr. Ketan Desai, who was promoted last month to the post of World Medical Association (WMA) was produced in the CBI Court in New Delhi yesterday to face the ongoing criminal trial against him for alleged bribery and corruption (see Reuters report below). Although there was no hearing and the case was adjourned to February 2017, Desai ran away from the courtroom without answering any question and doctor-leaders in the WMA and Indian Medical Association (IMA) also had no response when asked about this new development.
Dr. Desai was chosen to become WMA president in 2009 but after he was caught red-handed by the CBI for taking huge bribe from a private medical college and his medical license was indefinitely suspended by the MCI in 2010, he was removed from the post of WMA president-elect. While Dr. Desai was released on bail after spending six months in jail as he waited for the criminal trial to begin, his medical cronies who are occupying top positions in the IMA and Medical Council of India (MCI) went before the WMA with a fabricated claim that all charges against Dr. Desai have been dropped by the Indian authority. Based on this fraudulent claim by the IMA/MCI leaders, WMA decided to reinstate Dr. Desai as their president last year. Although even the MCI Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) investigated and held that IMA leaders lied before the WMA to make Dr. Desai as the WMA president as PBT repeatedly urged the WMA to remove Dr. Desai from any consideration to become WMA president, they kept blind eyes and went along with the fraudulent claim by the IMA. As the Reuters reports today (see below), neither the IMA leaders including Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, IMA president-elect and a vociferous supporter of Dr. Ketan Desai, nor the WMA leaders had any answer when asked about the court appearance by Dr. Desai today. Will the “honest” doctors of India still remain silent on the face of this broad daylight atrocity by the IMA and WMA and accept the biggest medical-mafia in Indian medicine as president of the WMA?
Home page of the website of Indian Medical Association (IMA), the largest organization of doctors in India, glaringly showers endless accolades in favor of their long-time leader and disgraced ex-MCI president, Dr. Ketan Desai, for being selected as the World Medical Association (WMA) president. The world medicine has erupted in strong protest after Dr. Desai, who is still waiting for his criminal trial to begin for alleged bribery and corruption and whose medical license still remains suspended, after Desai was recently promoted to the post of WMA president by virtue of a fabricated claim by the IMA that all charges against Desai have been dropped by the Indian government. PBT has already sent a legal notice to the MCI and Health Ministry urging them to step in to remove Desai from the WMA.
IMA, which is under control of well-known Desai cronies, has attempted to paint the biggest medical mafia of Indian medicine, Dr. Ketan Desai, almost as a saint in Indian medicine. In order to glorify Dr. Desai on his elevation to the post of WMA president, IMA has made a boisterous and unimaginable claim on their website, “Indeed a historical moment of which every Indian would feel proud was when Dr Ketan Desai took over the reins of World Medical Association as its President at 10 am on Friday 21st October 2016 at Hotel Grand Hyatt to a thundering applause by the world professional fraternity.”
While it is true that Dr. Ketan Desai is a well-known name in Indian medicine but only for all the wrong reasons. A simple google search with his name would show countless reports, almost all focusing on his long-standing corruption and his arrest by the CBI for taking a huge bribe from a private medical college in 2010. Ironically, the long and adoring IMA story does not even hint that Dr. Desai was arrested by the CBI or that he is still facing a criminal trial. The shameless drum-beat by the IMA to prop up the most corrupt medical man in Indian history will undoubtedly further erode public trust on Indian medical fraternity. It is high time that the honest and conscientious doctors of India must raise their voice of protest against this unabashed praise of Dr. Ketan Desai.
In a report published today by the popular online journal “The News Minute”, WMA Secretary-General, Dr. Otmar Kloiber and their spokesperson, Nigel Duncan, have claimed that according to their information, all cases against Dr. Ketan Desai have been dropped by the CBI and he has been given acquitted from all charges of corruption by the Indian authority. The WMA had no answer as the reporter simply pointing to the online Indian court site that clearly shows that the “Corruption Cases No. 11/12 of 2012” is still ongoing before Judge Shri Gurdeep Singh at the Patiala Court in Delhi with the last date of hearing on August 3, 2016 (see the full news report below; the report can also be accessed at the link http://www.thenewsminute.com/article/ketan-desais-election-wma-can-ethics-body-have-moral-power-if-it-cant-keep-clean-house.
Desai was installed last week as the WMA president for 2016/2017 through a seemingly fraudulent claim by the top leaders of IMA and MCI including IMA president, Dr. K.K. Aggarwal and MCI Ethics Committee members Dr. Ajay Kumar, Dr. Vinay Aggarwal and Dr. Sudipto Roy, all of whom have been well-known medical cronies for Desai for a very long time. Selection of Desai, perhaps the most corrupt medical man in Indian medical history, as the supreme leader of the world medical body has generated a huge turmoil across the international medical community. People of India are hardly any strangers to the news of corruption in our healthcare and medical education system. But the bigger question that must be raised is why the “foreign” leaders of WMA played along with this corruption to make the tainted Indian doctor as the WMA president?
In a shocking development exposing the pervasive nature of medical corruption beyond India, disgraced ex-Medical Council of India (MCI) president, Dr. Ketan Desai, was selected as the new WMA president yesterday (see news below). Dr. Desai was caught red-handed for taking huge bribe from a private medical college (when he was still MCI president) in a sting operation by the CBI in April, 2010. After spending more than 6 months in jail, Dr. Desai was released on bail as his medical license was also suspended for indefinite period by the MCI after PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha, lodged a complaint for “professional misconduct” under the provisions of MCI Code of Ethics & Regulations, 2002. While Dr. Desai is still waiting for his criminal trial to begin and his medical registration remains suspended, he and his medical cronies in the MCI and IMA managed to make him president of the largest international medical organization using their political influence and evil power of corruption.
While imposing an indefinite suspension of Dr. Desai’s license, members of the newly formed MCI in 2010 (after MCI was dissolved and all members of Desai’s MCI were removed under mounting public pressure following Desai’s arrest) also directed that Dr. Desai is debarred from representing any medical group or association. With a sinister motive to repair Desai’s grossly tainted public image and to influence the outcome of his criminal prosecution, senior members of MCI/IMA including Dr. Ajay Kumar, Dr. Sudipto Roy, Dr. Vinay Aggarwal (all IMA and MCI Ethics Committee members) and long-term Desai supporter and newly elected IMA president, Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, went before the WMA and made a false claim that all charges against Dr. Desai have been dropped by the Indian authority based on which WMA decided to make Dr. Desai president of the world medical body in the most blatant and corrupt manner. Even the MCI Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) categorically found that the senior MCI/IMA members lied before the WMA to help Dr. Desai and directed the health department to take disciplinary measures against these sitting members of MCI/IMA in a scathing report in October, 2014 (see below). Almost two years have passed, MCI and Health Ministry have remained in a deep slumber and refused to take any steps to stop the biggest medical mafia of Indian medicine and a criminally-indicted Dr. Ketan Desai from assuming the prestigious post of WMA president. PBT has sent a legal notice to the MCI president and a well-known Ketan Desai crony, Dr. Jayshree Mehta, asking her to take immediate measures, as directed by the MCI in their order of Dr. Desai’s license suspension of 2010, to remove Dr. Desai from this unlawfully acquired post of WMA president. If the MCI and Health Ministry fail to take any action, PBT will move the appropriate court of law to bring an end to this sheer atrocity that has shaken the core of Indian and world medical community.
Rabindranath Tagore Heart Institute, a top cardiac center in Kolkata, and their senior cardiologist, Dr. J. Naik, were found guilty for causing death of a retired Wing Commander, Mr. Robin Saram Verma, following an ordinary coronary angiogram (CAG) after obtaining an invalid “informed consent” from the patient without properly explaining the associated risks involved with the procedure. The three-judge bench has awarded a compensation of Rs. 3 lakh plus Rs. 25 thousand (as legal cost) to be paid by the doctor and hospital within 45 days failing which 9% interest would be added to the compensation (see news below). The observation made in this judgment may have major implications in other cases of medical negligence involving botched “informed consent”. Doctors are duty bound to obtain a valid “informed consent” from the patient/patient-party before undertaking any medical/surgical procedure after fully explaining the possible risks associated and also other options for treatment. Unfortunately, most doctors and hospitals in India blatantly violate the rules for obtaining a proper “informed consent” because they are hardly ever brought to justice for failure to obtain a properly implemented “informed consent”.
Jayeeta Verma Sarkar, daughter of the deceased military man,came to PBT in 2010 following the negligent death of her father seeking help in her quest for justice for her departed father. Over the past six years, Ms. Sarkar has not only launched a recentless fight against the powerful hospital and doctor, she has also joined PBT as an ardent volunteer to help other victims of medical negligence. Ms. Sarkar is now also a member of the PBT Executive Committee and has been deeply involved with helping other victims of medical negligence. The MCI also found Dr. Naik guilty for professional misconduct in 2014 and directed the Orissa Medical Council to cancel his medical license but the state medical council has refused to take any action against the errant doctor until now.