2 doctors accused of negligence told to face trial

04 October, 2016

BENGALURU: The High Court on Monday dismissed the petitions filed by two doctors who had challenged the chargesheet filed against them on charges of medical negligence in a sensational case of a death of a woman and her unborn child at a private hospital in the city.

The petitioners are gynaecologist Dr Indira Rao and radiologist Dr Anil Kumar Sakalecha.  
According to the complaint filed with the Pulakeshi Nagar Police in 2010 by Parikshit Dalal, his pregnant wife, Kapali Patne, was admitted to Santosh Hospital, Frazer Town on April 16, 2010 for elective caesarean section. She died in the operation theatre, allegedly due to a fall from a table or stretcher. In 2011, CID had charged both the doctors for causing death by negligence and destroying evidence.
The sessions court had rejected the petitioners plea seeking their discharge from the case. Therefore, the doctors approached High Court for relief.

While dismissing the petitions, Justice Anand Byrareddy said the case has to be decided in trial.
“It is to be noticed that there is a serious controversy as to whether the records available truly and clearly indicate the actual sequence of events, especially the glaring inconsistency toww the cause and time of death of the patient, as stated by Dr Indira Rao and as reflected in the post mortem report. Records do not indicate as to how the patient had suffered any such injuries from the time she was admitted to the hospital and till the time of death,” the judge noted.

Justice Byrareddy  added that the post mortem report finding could not have been the doctor’s imagination.
“The cause of death, if, at all, has apparently occurred after the patient was taken to operation theatre. This aspect is within the knowledge of Dr Indira Rao and other persons present in the operation theatre,” the judge said.
“..Or could it be that death was caused by both “anaphylactic shock” and resulting from the fracture of the left sacroiliac joint possibly from a fall from operation theatre table or stretchers, which may have been ignored since the patient was already in a crisis from the violent reaction to the anaesthesia drug? Since such a fall in the operation theatre is not reflected in the hospital records, is there an attempt to concealment of true fact?”, the judge said in the order pronounced on Monday.

What the doctors say
Petitioners claimed before the High Court that at most it could be a negligent act for want of due care and precaution liable in tort and no criminal liability what
so ever.
The patient’s death was due to anaphylactic shock due to violent reaction to anaesthesia, they added. They further claimed that even if the patient had suffered a fall, it could only be construed as an accident and not indicate recklessness.