In a major case of medical negligence with a claim of Rs. 12 crore for wrongful death of a doctor’s husband against Apollo Gleneagles Hospital in Kolkata, PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha personally appeared on behalf of the victim before the circuit bench of National Consumer Forum (NCDRC) on Tuesday (June 20) and argued against Apollo’s claim that the case should be dismissed summarily because the compensation sought was too excessive. After hearing both parties, a bench of Justices Mr. Ajit Bhariahoke and Mrs. Rekha Gupta rejected hospital’s petition and said that the final quantum of compensation will be decided only after the trial based on evidences.
The advocates for Apollo Hospital also challenged participation of Dr. Saha to represent the complainant/victim on the plea that the complainant already has an advocate and that Dr. Saha is not a licensed attorney. Dr. Saha admitted that he is a medical doctor and not a licensed attorney and that he and his organization’s (PBT) sole purpose is to help the hapless victims of medical negligence find justice. Dr. Saha also submitted that he has appeared and argued many other victims of medical negligence before the district, state and national consumer courts as well as in the Supreme Court of India but he or PBT has been helping victims all over India without ever taking a rupee from anybody. Dr. Saha further submitted that in fact he has been spending lakhs of rupees of his own money in order to help these victims that include expenses for his travel (from his country of residence in USA), hotel and food etc. This case involves death of a retired engineer, Mr. Asok Das, husband of Dr. Kalyani Das Sarkar, who died at the Apollo Hospital following a simple investigation to test his heart (cardio angiogram) as a result of a botched up procedure. The case will be heard on merit next on 13th November, 2017. Dr. Saha has come to India earlier this month only to help several victims of alleged medical negligence in their court cases pending before the consumer courts in different states (see news below).