Supreme Court division bench of Justices R.M. Lodha and A.R. Dave has issued notice against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today after PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha, moved a special leave petition (SLP) challenging a previous order passed by the Calcutta High Court which directed to delete the name of Ms. Banerjee from the array of respondents in a PIL filed by Dr. Saha against the appointment of Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee as the “chief adviser” for the Bengal health department. Dr. Mukherjee was found guilty for medical negligence causing death of Dr. Saha’s wife, Anuradha Saha, by the Apex Court in 2009. The Medical Council of India (MCI) also found Dr. Mukherjee guilty and directed to cancel his medical license in 2011. The National Consumer Commission (NCDRC) also imposed highest ever compensation for medical negligence in the amount of Rs. 1.72 crore against Dr. Mukherjee (and some other doctors plus AMRI hospital in Kolkata).
Despite the grossly tainted history of Dr. Mukherjee, the Bengal CM (who is also the health minister of West Bengal) publicly praised Dr. Mukherjee and appointed him as the “chief adviser” for the health department with wide-spread power to regulate the “Standard Treatment Guidelines” for all hospitals and doctors in the state against which Dr. Saha moved the Calcutta High Court and argued the matter “in person” in August, 2012. While issuing notice to the state health department, Calcutta High Court also directed Dr. Saha to delete the name of Ms. Banerjee as a respondent in this case. Dr. Saha challenged this interim order passed by the Calcutta High Court on the ground that a chief minister is not above the law and she must be treated as any other ordinary citizen. The Supreme Court has prima facie agreed with the argument made by Dr. Saha’s counsel and senior advocate Mr. M.N. Krishnamani today and issued notice against Ms. Banerjee as well as Dr. Mukherjee and West Bengal Health Department in this historic battle which should bring hope for the countless victims of “medical negligence” across India. A copy of the SLP filed by Dr. Saha is attached below.