CALCUTTA HC ADMITS PIL AGAINST BENGAL’S NEW HEALTH COMMISSION FOR INCLUSION OF DR. SUKUMAR MUKHERJEE WHO WAS CONVICTED FOR GROSS MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE CAUSING ANURADHA SAHA’S DEATH
A new PIL (Writ Petition No. 17057W/2017) filed against the recently formed Health Commission (under W.B. Clinical Establishment Act, 2017) was admitted by the Calcutta High Court division bench of chief justice Ms. Nishita Mhatre and Mr. Tapabrata Chakraborty and tagged with a second PIL (W.P. No. 217/2017) that had already been pending on similar grounds. The court directed West Bengal health department and Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee to file their response within 2 week and allowed another 2 weeks to file any rejoinder. The matter will be heard after 4 weeks.
The PIL filed by PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha has raised specific questions on violation of Constitution as well as moral authority on part of the state government to select Dr. Mukherjee as senior doctor-member of the powerful Health Commission to judge complaints of medical negligence by private doctors and hospitals in the state. Ironically, as known all over India, the same Dr. Mukherjee was found guilty by the Supreme Court for gross medical negligence causing death of Anuradha Saha in 2009. The Apex Court also awarded a compensation of Rs. 11.5 crore (including interest), highest in Indian medico-legal history, against Dr. Mukherjee and some other doctors/AMRI hospital in a second historic judgment in 2013. The Supreme Court has also made scathing criticism for professional misconduct against Dr. Mukherjee and dubbed his conduct as “unbecoming of a doctor” and who has brought “great disrespect for the medical profession”. The PIL has claimed that appointment of Dr. Mukherjee to the coveted post as a senior medical member for the Health Commission has undermined sanctity of the Apex Court and it also has violated Article 144 of Indian Constitution that mandates that all authority in India, civil and judicial, must act in aid of Supreme Court.