Ashwani Diwan and his family were devastated when his 61-year old father was declared dead last December by doctors at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital in Kolkata after several months of hope for a recovery and a whopping more than Rs. 60 lakh hospital bill. There were numerous evidences of negligent and unethical treatment by the Apollo doctors. Like so many other victims of medical negligence, they also came to PBT seeking help in their quest for justice for Ashwani’s departed father. Formal complaints against several doctors including Dr. S.N. Singh (Neurosurgeon) and Dr. Tanweer Shahid (Oncologist) have already been lodged before various authorities including the medical council.
Last week, Ashwani received a letter from the office of Fox & Mandal, an influential law firm in Kolkata, demanding 20 crore rupees on behalf of Dr. Singh and Dr. Shahid allegedly for posting some comments about the wrongful death of his father on his personal Facebook page. Like all other democratic countries, citizens of India are also fully protected for freedom of speech and expression under Article 19 of Indian Constitution as held repeatedly by Supreme Court of India. Everybody has a right to express his or her opinion freely and without any fear even though his/her opinion may be contradicted by others and may eventually be proven to be wrong by a competent court of law. On the other hand, nobody has a right to threaten or retaliate claiming astronomical sum of money through gross abuse of the process of law in order to muzzle the voices of victims of alleged medical negligence as appear in this case against the hapless Diwan family. PBT strongly denounces such sinister attempts by the two Apollo doctors and has already sent a protest letter to the Fox & Mandal asking to to refrain from their effort to extract Rs. 20 crore from Diwan family (see news below).