The Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar Association has filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. The petition enumerates a series of events that led to the untimely death of one of its members.
The deceased, Advocate Achala Joshi was a practising advocate affiliated to the Madhya Pradesh High Court Bar Association. On 05.09.2020, she felt uneasy and was rushed to the hospital of respondent no. six. The hospital neither admitted the patient nor provided any primary lifesaving medication. Hence, the patient was taken to the hospital of the respondent no. 7 which initially denied admission but later agreed to it. However, the patient was found dead by the time any treatment could have been administered.
Therefore, the petitioner has filed the writ petition alleging the death to be a result of the negligence and delay by the respondent hospitals.
Contents of the Plea
The petitioner association has placed reliance on the Supreme Court judgment in Parmanand Katara v. Union of India. The Apex Court had asserted that every hospital is duty-bound to provide immediate primary treatment to every person. Moreover, the omission of duty by the hospital has violated the petitioner’s right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.
In addition, the petitioner has alleged that the respondent hospitals have committed punishable offences under the Indian Penal Code. The conduct of the hospitals amounts to a culpable homicide under Section 299 as the respondents knew that their omission was likely to cause the death of the person.
Prayer for Relief
The petitioner has requested the Court to direct the concerned authorities to initiate inquiry and punish the indolent administration and management of the hospitals. It may also cancel the medical licenses of the doctors and staff charged with emergency duty on a relevant day. The petitioner has also sought a compensation of Rs. 1 crore for the family of the deceased.
Further, in the interests of the public at large, the Court may issue guidelines for all the hospitals to provide emergency treatment to all the citizens of the State. The concerned authorities may also establish Emergency Primary Healthcare Centers and appoint a State Grievance Redressal Committee.
Interim Order by the Court
The matter was presented before the single-judge bench comprising of Justice Prakash Srivastava. The Court shall list the matter for hearing after two weeks. Meanwhile, the respondent hospitals are directed to preserve the medical treatment records of the deceased and CCTV footage for the period between 05.09.2020 to 06.09.2020.
Moreover, a division bench hearing a different PIL in the same matter has ordered the District Magistrate to conduct a fact-finding enquiry.
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