VASCO: Dropping the charges framed against Dr Shantaram Surme, who was booked for medical negligence in the suspected death of Raveena Rodrigues, the Children’s Court has transferred the case to the Sessions Court in Margao.
It may be recalled that Raveena Rodrigues, a 15-year-old girl from Verna, was admitted to a private hospital in Vasco due to illness. She was operated on July 3, 2010 and was rushed to GMC on July 10 after her condition worsened. However, the girl died on July 29, 2010, in GMC and her family had suspected foul play.
Following public outcry, the then government had formed a committee to inquire into the matter. The panel found that there was medical negligence and had recommended action. Following the committee report, the victim's father filed a complaint in November 2011 and the case was registered on the directions of the Vasco JMFC. Vasco police had booked three doctors including Dr Shantaram Surme under Sections 8(2) and 2(III) of Goa Children’s Act (GCA) 2003, besides other sections of IPC.
Appearing for Dr Surme, Advocate Rajan Naik brought it to the notice of Children’s Court that there is no child abuse done by the doctor as alleged and in order to proceed to prosecute for an offence under GCA, the accused has to commit child abuse. In such circumstances, the court shall proceed to consider whether there is any material on record to prosecute the accused under the provisions of GCA.
Adv Naik also claimed that the case is of medical negligence and not of refusal of medical help to the victim and hence the case has to be trailed by the competent criminal court and not by the Children’s Court.