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No Income Tax on “Compensation” For Medical Negligence: SC Rebukes AMRI Hospital For Deducting TDS in Anuradha Saha Death Case

Supreme Court special bench of Justices Mr. C.K. Prasad and Mr. V. Gopala Gowda severely criticized AMRI hospital for deducting Rs. 1.06 crore for income tax as “tax deducted at source” (TDS) from the “compensation” imposed on the hospital for the wrongful death of Anuradha Saha, wife of PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha (news below).  On October 24, 2013, Apex Court delivered historic judgment in Anuradha case awarding highest-ever compensation of Rs. 11.5 crore including interest against AMRI hospital and three top Kolkata doctors including present “chief adviser” for West Bengal health department, Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee.  AMRI had earlier sought extra time to pay the compensation which was rejected by the Apex Court.  After AMRI failed to pay the entire compensation on time, Dr. Saha filed a “contempt” petition against AMRI hospital.  When the matter was taken up by the court this week, it was found that AMRI had withheld more than Rs. 1.06 crore from the compensation on the plea of TDS.  The Apex Court took serious view this action by AMRI hospital because “compensation” for wrongful death of a patient should not be considered as “income” for the victim’s family.  At the direction of the court, AMRI was compelled to pay a check in the amount of Rs. 1.06 crore to Dr. Saha who was present in the courtroom.  The Apex Court also directed that all other discrepancies in the amount paid by AMRI hospital must be sorted out within two weeks.  The “contempt” has been listed for final hearing on 30th July, 2014.

Statesman (july 8, 2014) p. 1

Statesman (July 8,2014) p. 2

Telegraph (July 8, 2014)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • S.K.Thakur July 11, 2014, 10:28 am

    Great news! Equally good news was reference of PBT in the editorial of British Medical Journal. Try to contribute to improving the quality of medical education in this country.

  • agrwl July 12, 2014, 3:34 pm

    People for betterment of
    Foreign Medical Graduates

    President: R K Agrawal,
    231, Lalbaug, Morbi-2
    Dt.30.06 2014
    The health minister,
    Ministery of Health & Family Welfare,
    Govt of india,
    New Delhi
    Sub:-Plight of Foreign Medical Graduates & ways to improve supply of competent doctors, while eliminating all types of incompetent ones
    Reason for students opting for foreign medical education
    Thousands of meritorious youth of mother India, who could not afford Crores of Donation in Pvt. colleges, & could not get meagrely available Govt. seats and still determined to pursue this noble profession, go abroad for economical medical education.
    Discrimination being meted out to them by MCI on return
    But on return, they are being discriminated in the name of screening test by the MCI, in collusion with NBI. Govt. of India being a mute spectator. A glance at the pass percentage of screening tests (just 15% to 30% with an average of 20%) will reveal the amount of discrimination being meted out by MCI to these graduates. For the last 2 seasons it is expected to be worse, just 10%.
    MCI’s argument
    I do not buy MCI’s argument that medical education all over the world is not up to Indian standards as justification for such a low pass percentage over such a long period. If their education is indeed so poor, how come they have much better healthcare system than India has ? And if 90% graduates are indeed not worthy, why not ban this worthless education completely? Why waste our youth & financial resources for such a worthless education & spoil life of 90% students by subjecting them to the same test & failing them again & again. They could have been productively used in other fields of life for the benefit of mother india.
    Actual reason
    However, the fact of the matter is that such discriminatorily low passing percentage is kept deliberately to incite fear psychosis in the minds of students, so that they do not go abroad & ultimately fall pray to Pvt. Colleges to cough up Crores in Donation. As the fear increases, demand for private medical seats increases, & as the demand increases, the donation amount increases.
    Justification of this reason
    As the actual reason is to incite fear psychosis to frustrate them, MCI do not come up with any plan to give them further training or to give then restricted/ supervised practice licence even in rural areas, which are dependent on Quacks for their healthcare needs.
    Adverse impact
    Part of donation goes to MCI bosses is no more a secrete. MCI bosses become wealthy, the dens of corruption flourish, but, mother india suffers. Artificial shortage of doctors is created. Rural population falls pray to quacks, thus our National Health parameters decreases, & mother India becomes sick.
    Situation of Private Medical Colleges
    Scores of Pvt. colleges openly auction their seats in crores, & pass their students from their own Pvt universities by taking crores again. We know how their faculties & facilities are checked by MCI, which exist only on paper. However, the quality of Doctors produced is nowhere checked even on paper. They all are blanketly stamped competent without any scrutiny because corrupt officials get their share of Donation.
    Pointed questions to MCI
    Has MCI ever checked the standard of these Pvt. Medical College students by subjecting them to such a test?
    Is it not possible that MCI is asking for some alien standards from foreign college students, which its own Pvt. College graduates do not possess?
    The permanent solution to this problem
    In MCI vision 2015 document, the earlier impartial Govt appointed board of MCI directors smelt the foul play of private college controlled board of MCI directors discriminating against foreign graduates to help fill private college seats fill at huge donations & also the competency concerns against private medical college graduates & hence proposed national exit exam applicable both to local as well as foreign graduates with it being mandatory by 2015. As the private college mafia controlled board of MCI directors is now back in control, they have sent a proposal to health ministry somewhere in March –April 2014 for national exit exam, but changed it to be optional for local graduates initially. MCI wants to continue it’s loot for some more years. God knows how long this ‘initially’ will mean.
    We demand that immediately thereafter it should be made mandatory for all those taking new admissions. Even if it is made mandatory today, it will be effective after 5 years. Doesn’t indian citizens have right to know if these private college graduates are atleast of foreign college graduates standard?
    World overview in support of proposed solution
    All the developed countries such as UK, USA, Canada, Austrailia, Newzealand and even the least developed countries like Nepal has uniform licentiate exam applicable to both local as well as foreign graduates. However, as the actual reason was to discriminate foreign graduates to the point of frustration to help fill private college seats at huge donation, in india MCI made it applicable to only foreign graduates, branding private college graduates blanketly competent.
    Benefit of proposed solution
    There will be several benefits to mother india & the only losers will be corrupt officials & Pvt. Medical College mafia, as explained below.
    1.There will be no discrimination against anyone as all are subjected to the same test. As the fear psychosis will eliminate, more & more students will go abroad thus increasing supply of competent Doctors which ailing mother india badly needs, without any burden on Govt. resources, & without compromising on standards.
    2.Increased supply of quality Doctors will improve the health parameters of ailing mother India. India will be gradually viewed as a healthy country.
    3. All incompetent doctors, whether Foreign gradutes or Pvt. college graduates will not be able to get in to the system, thus reducing medical negligence, which will be again beneficial to ailing mother India.
    4. Only losers will be corrupt officials & private medical mafia making crores by auctioning their seats, & still giving sub standard education, as demand for their seats will be greatly reduced as students will have the choice of economical education without fear of discrimination.
    6.But, the benefit to mother India will be that healthcare will be free of corruption, money power & vested interests, which in turn will reduce the overall cost of healthcare, medical negligence will be reduced, healthcare will be improved, rural population will get increased supply of quality doctors & mother india will no longer be ailing.
    7. It will also promote competence in Pvt. Medical Colleges as they will have no choice but to improve their standards.
    The proof of validity of above argument
    The proof of validity of above argument lies in the fact that the only opposition you will face is from corrupt officials, the Pvt. college mafia & the existing students of such colleges. Opposition from existing students of Pvt. colleges can be overcome by not making these rules applicable to existing students. Those left will be corrupt officials & Pvt. Medical college Mafia, as they will lose the maximum, which they deserve.
    Quick Temporary solution
    If all these need legislative changes, taking a long time, in the short run we can atleast reduce the discrimination meted out to Foreign Graduates by not subjecting them to some alien standards of test which our own Pvt. Colleges graduates do not possess, by subjecting a representative sample of such Pvt College graduates to this test on experimental basis to find out if the standard expected are indeed those possessed by Pvt. College Graduates. Since, all these Pvt. college graduates are blanketly stamped competent, they all must easily pass this test. Or, else it will prove that blanket stamping of Pvt. college graduates as competent is indeed money driven & not merit driven & foreign graduates are indeed being subjected to some alien standards, which its own system does not possess.
    Benefit of temporary solution
    This will reduce some discrimination in short run, will increase supply of quality doctors, as fear of subjecting them to some alien standards will be removed & Govt. will also come to know the actual standards of Pvt. College Graduates.
    Precaution to be taken
    However, to get the real picture all this exercise should be undertaken by an independent body free from the influence of MCI as this will also expose how these Pvt. Colleges were recognised by MCI, which is the main culprit.
    Alternate temporary solution of rural posting
    Alternatively, those foreign graduates who scores 40% in screening test may be given restricted/ supervised licence to practice in rural areas. For each year of rural service they may be given 5 bonus marks. When this add up to 50% they may be given full licence.
    Benefit of alternate temporary solution
    Rural population is presently dependent on Quacks for their healthcare needs. These graduates are well trained in modern medicine in the sense that healthcare of many foreign countries is dependent on so trained doctors only. They are deliberately branded incompetent by MCI for illicit financial gains. However, to alienate fear of MCI, it is proposed to give them restricted/ supervised licence.
    Thanking you,
    Yours sincerely,
    (R K Agrawal)
    Copy to:
    1. Prime Minister of India, sh. Narendra bhai Modi, New Delhi
    2. National Board of Examination, New Delhi
    3. Medical Council of India, New Delhi

  • agrwl July 12, 2014, 3:36 pm

    People for betterment of
    Foreign Medical Graduates
    President: R K Agrawal,
    231, Lalbaug, Morbi-2
    Dt.30.06 2014
    Health minister,
    Govt of India,
    New Delhi
    Sub:- National level exit exam for medical graduates
    R sir,
    In a shameless move to protect incompetence and the degrading standards of medical education in private colleges and to continue its corrupt practices, mci has recommended national exit exam to be optional and not mandatory ‘initially’. God knows how long this ‘initially’ will mean.
    The earlier appointed impartial board of Govt. Appointed Governors rightly sensed the collusion between mci and private medical college mafia. To nail this, it proposed a national exit exam applicable to all who intend to practice medicine in India with clear road map of making it mandatory by 2015.
    But for corrupt practice to continue, the current board having proximity to medical mafia has replaced the clear frame work of time for which it was optional, by a vague word ‘initially’, in their proposal submitted to health ministry sometimes around march – April 2014.
    The mci is always discriminating with foreign graduates by branding them as incompetents, and subjects them to screening test which is always designed to fail these graduates.
    But when it comes to checking the quality of doctors produced under its own corrupt system, it turns its back and finds various excuses to avoid scrutiny of doctors produced under its own system, so that medical mafia can make more money till its hollow claim of competency is exposed.
    Even the bar council of India has made similar exam for advocates to be mandatory but current mci, due to it’s proximity to medical mafia is reluctant to do so.
    It seems in the eyes of corrupt mci, life itself is less precious than justice?
    We demand health ministry to APPROVE THE PROPOSAL IN ITS CURRENT FORM IMMEDIATELY so that at least a stage is set for exit exam as soon as possible.
    We also demand that immediately after approving the proposal in current form the health ministry and mci should take further steps to MAKE IT MANDATORY TO THOSE TAKING FRESH ADMISSIONS FROM NEXT YEAR. Even if it is made mandatory today it will be practically effective after 5 year. THIS STEP NEEDS IMMEDIATE ACTION IF HEALTH MINISTERY REALLY WANTS TO CURB CORRUPTION IN MEDICAL EDUCATION, as this alone will curtail more than 70% corruption in medical education. It will also promote competence in private medical colleges & reduce medical negligence.
    Thanking you,

    yours faithfully,

    (Rk agrawal)

    Copy to Respected Prime Minister of India