The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Benefit of doubt acquits doctors

Alipore sub-divisional judicial magistrate Sunil Kumar Dam on Monday cited “benefit of doubt” to acquit four city doctors on charges of rash and negligent treatment, causing the death of a patient in a nursing home.

Delivering his judgment, magistrate Dam observed that the petition could not substantiate the allegations against the doctors by furnishing enough proof. Petitioner Bijoy Singha Roy told Metro he would move a higher court against the verdict.

Singha Roy, a resident of Jadavpur, alleged in his petition that four doctors — gynaecologist Biswanath Das, anaesthetist Dhiraj Kumar Chakraborty, specialist in medicine Debasish Sarkar and nursing home owner Pronab Kumar Mukherjee — were responsible for the death of his wife, Bani, 40.

The petition said Bani was admitted to the nursing home in Kalighat on November 30, 1993, for hysterectomy. She was also suffering from hypertension and anaemia.

“On December 1, 1993, she was put on the operating table with high blood pressure and a low haemoglobin count. During surgery, her blood pressure shot up to 200/110. Drugs were administered to bring the pressure down but Bani developed a respiratory problem and slipped into a coma,” the petitioner alleged.

“At that critical moment, specialist in medicine Debasish Sarkar was called in. He suggested that the doctors wait for a few more hours. When Bani’s condition showed no improvement, he advised that she be shifted to a nursing home on Broad Street, where she would be under his treatment. Later, she was removed to SSKM Hospital, where she died,” Singha Roy said.

In June last year, the magistrate had summoned all four doctors and a chargesheet was filed against them under Section 304 of the IPC. But after a lengthy prosecution, he acquitted the quartet.

After the trial of several eminent doctors in the Anuradha Saha death case, the Bani Singha Roy case had attracted the attention of the medical fraternity.

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