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SC seeks details on doctors

New Delhi, April 24: The Supreme Court today directed all medical councils and health secretaries to file affidavits on how complaints of negligence against doctors were being handled in their respective states.

A division bench of Justice M.B. Shah and Justice Arun Kumar said the affidavits should be filed by June 30, failing which the health secretaries would be summoned to the court on July 21 to answer its queries in person.

During the last hearing on April 3, the court had ordered all state medical councils and health secretaries to submit their affidavits within two weeks.

However, only three councils — Punjab, Haryana and Daman & Diu — had obliged. As had five health secretaries —Karnataka, Sikkim, Daman & Diu, Pondicherry and Lakshadweep.

The court took serious note of the lack of co-operation from the health secretaries.

The directive came on a public interest litigation filed by Malay Ganguli on behalf of People for Better Treatment, a health activist organisation formed after the death of a US-based doctor, Anuradha Saha, in a Calcutta hospital.

Two Calcutta doctors, Dr Sukumar Mukherjee and Dr Baidyanath Halder, have been convicted for “criminal negligence” by the Alipore trial court and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for Anuradha Saha’s death due to negligence.

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