Bombay High Court
Bombay High Court

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni that it would soon constitute a special cell to verify the allegations of medical negligence levelled by kin of patients against doctors. The state said this cell would comprise of experts, who would cross check the genuineness of the allegations and that this would avoid direct filing of FIRs against the doctors.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni submitted that this cell will comprise of experts from the medical field, senior police officers, and other stakeholders. "They will first examine the complaints and verify the contentions. Only if the complaints are prima facie true, in opinion of the members of this cell, an FIR would be filed," Kumbhakoni said, adding, "The cell will also look into the complaints by doctors against the kin of patients, who indulge in vandalising hospital property and attacking doctors."

Upon being questioned, the advocate general told the judges that the cell would be made functional by next week.

Having heard the AG, chief justice Datta pointed out that in his home town - West Bengal, a similar committee was constituted which comprised nine members, and included IPS officers who also had MBBS degrees. "There's a separate law to protect doctors from any kind of assault from the relatives of a patient. I believe the state government can draw an inspiration from such a legislation and have one of it's own," the chief justice said.

The bench was dealing with a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Pune-based Dr Rajeev Joshi, highlighting the rise in assault of doctors and even the increase in FIRs being filed against them over complaints by the families of the patients.

The matter is adjourned for two weeks.

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