The recent historic decision for highest compensation (Rs. 1.77 crore) in Anuradha Saha wrongful death case has unraveled the inherent flaw in the justice delivery system for the victims of “medical negligence” in India. Anuradha’s husband, Dr. Kunal Saha, had to fight a 13-year long legal battle (which has not yet ended as Dr. Saha has decided to move to the Supreme Court for enhancement of compensation) and obviously, he had to spend a huge amount of money in order to participate this over-extended legal battle against the wealthy and highly influential doctors and private hospital.
Justice delayed is justice denied. When a victim of alleged “medical negligence” has to fight in the court for 13 years or even longer to find justice for the loss of life of his loved one, can this be viewed as “justice”? Should cases of “medical negligence” that deals with the question of innocent human lives be handled by the Consumers’ Courts in the same manner as with other cases against defective household goods or for cheating by a business? PBT is calling the law-makers and political leaders to change this inherent flaw in the “Consumer Protection Act” to have medical negligence cases disposed within 6 months in “fast-track” courts for equitable justice for the hapless patients of India (see the news report below published in Bengal Post today)
Bengal Post (Nov. 6, 2011)