Case Law: Bechuram Sarkar V. Dr. Tara Shankar Bhatterjee

ORDER DATED: 28.03.2019 (National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi)


Sumit, a young and aspiring footballer, sustained injuries on his left arm while practicing. He was rushed to Howrah District Hospital where Dr. Tara advised an X-ray that showed fracture of both bones of the left arm. The doctor prescribed analgesic, antibiotics and applied half cast plaster and advised fasciotomy surgery after three days.

The boy’s father, however, did not heed to the advice and took him to several hospitals for second and third opinion, which wasted valuable time. Sumit was eventually admitted to Re-Life Hospital where his left hand was amputated. The devastated father sued Dr. Tara and alleged ‘negligent attitude’ on his part that caused amputation of his boy’s hand!


While the Commission clearly observed that the doctor had given the right initial treatment and had booked the operation theatre, the patient did not report back for the planned fasciotomy surgery. Hence Dr. Tara could not be held negligent on any count, ruled the Commission. However, the Commission observed a very bizarre and shocking notation in Re-Life Hospital’s discharge certificate. It was mentioned that Sumit had ‘expired’ after amputation, thus in effect making it a death certificate. Re-Life Hospital’s medical superintendent was reprimanded about this disturbing lapse and sternly warned to avoid such mishaps in future.

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