Veteran doctor Sukumar Mukherjee, the most notorious physician who was found guilty by the Apex Court of India not only for medical negligence but also for gross unethical behavior in the well-known Anuradha Saha wrongful death case, has been selected by the West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission to head an 8-member doctors’ Committee to probe private hospitals for alleged unethical activities including fleecing innocent COVID-19 patients with exorbitant and inflated hospital bills. Dr. Mukherjee has been blatantly pushed by the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinomool-Congress government in West Bengal to restore his tainted public image ever since he was found the main culprit doctor responsible for Anuradha’s death by the Supreme Court of India in two historic judgments, first in 2009 and then in 2013 when the Apex Court awarded highest ever compensation (Rs. 11.5 crore rupees) against Dr. Mukhrjee and other doctors as well as AMRI Hospital in Kolkata. While holding Dr. Mukherjee guilty for gross medical negligence, Supreme Court also made scathing observations against Dr. Mukhrjee’s overtly corrupt and unethical behavior. For example, Apex Court made blistering comments against Dr. Mukhrjee as:
“….the manner in which Dr. Mukherjee attempted to shirk from his individual responsibility both in the criminal and civil cases made against him on the death of the claimant’s wife is very much unbecoming of a doctor………” (para 143 in 2014 SCC 1, 384)
and again, “….we are inclined to mention here that Dr. Mukherjee has shown utmost disrespect to his profession…” (para 144 in 2014 SCC 1, 384).
Selection of Dr. Mukherjee against whom Apex Court has made such scathing comments about his moral character to head a Committee for investigation of other doctors/hospitals clearly undermines the sanctity of the highest court of the land and it overtly violates Article 144 of Indian Constitution that has stipulated that all Indian authorities, civil and judicial, shall act in the aid of the Supreme Court. PBT has submitted an urgent appeal with the Health Commission chairman, a retired Calcutta High Court Judge, Asim Kumar Banerjee, seeking immediate removal of Dr. Mukhrejee from the ethics investigation Committee.