The combatants: a top cop and a leading dentist. The root cause: a rotten tooth. The showdown point: a consumer court in town.
The complainant is the top cop, who alleges he was kept in “severe” pain for several days. The defendant, a reputed south Calcutta dental surgeon who feels that the special superintendent of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has more of a bruised ego than bleeding gums.
The consumer court has been called upon to probe the dispute, which will include ascertaining the quality of the “crown-and-bridge” treatment, before deciding on the monetary-compensation suit.
It all started in November 2001 when Ramphal Pawar, then superintendent of police of Nadia, was forced to turn to south Calcutta dental surgeon D. Ghosh after suffering severe pain in the left lower jaw. The first appointment ended with Ghosh recommending crown-and-bridge treatment. Pawar was asked to come back three weeks later, when Ghosh fitted a temporary plastic cap on the affected teeth.
So far, so good, Pawar’s legal team has told the South 24-Parganas District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. But the problem started soon after the fourth sitting, which saw Pawar’s teeth being fitted with two ceramic and one metal bridges.
Severe and constant pain forced the CID man back to Calcutta from Nadia on January 2, 2002, when, according to Pawar’s allegations, the doctor said some more treatment was needed to take care of a gap between two teeth. This, apparently, resulted in “cuts and wounds… (causing) immense pain”. When Pawar called up Ghosh the same night, the doctor, says the patient, suggested some painkillers and saline-water treatment.
Ghosh, however, told Metro that the charges levelled against him were “false and trumped up”. The case built up by Pawar’s legal team conveniently forgot to mention, said the doctor, that he had also carried out a root-canal and had even extracted one of Pawar’s teeth.
“Actually, the case against me has its origin in the patient being forced to wait for some time during one of his visits,” Ghosh said. “It is more a case of a bruised ego than bruised gums,” he claimed. “My (medical) case is quite strong.”
Pawar’s lawyers, however, have told the consumer court that an X-ray revealed a cavity in a tooth close to the one treated by Ghosh. The CID officer, they stated, had to consult another dental surgeon and spend a lot of money to right the wrongs Ghosh had inflicted on him. The lawyers pleaded with the court to direct Ghosh to pay Rs 40,000 to their client as compensation.