The Allahabad High Court in a medical negligence case has recently rejected the bail plea of an owner of the hospital building and has observed that many doctors and hospitals are treating patients as a tool for earning money.

A Single Bench of Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery said, “For a patient, hospital is like a temple wherein doctors are worshipped as a God. However, of late, there are many reported incidents that both management of hospitals and doctors are treating patients as a tool of earning money and for that they are indulging in such practice which are contrary to their hippocratic oath and specifically when there are scarcity of medicines, medical instruments and platelets, as was in the present case.”

The Bench noted that parity may not be the only ground but remains a relevant factor for consideration of the application for bail.

Advocate Raghvendra Yadav represented the accused, AGA Sunil Srivastava represented the State, and Advocate Akhilesh Kumar Ojha represented the complainant.

In this case, the accused had approached the Court seeking enlargement on bail in connection to the case under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471, 274, 304, and 120B of the IPC as his bail was rejected by the Additional District and Sessions Judge.

It was a case where a patient had died due to the carelessness of doctors and staff as well as the management of the hospital which was part of the building owned by the accused. The allegations were that the adulterated platelets were provided and injected into the said patient.

The High Court in view of the above context observed, “While passing an order on an application for grant of bail, there is no need to record elaborate details to give an impression that the case is one that would result in a conviction or, by contrast, in an acquittal. However, a Court cannot completely divorce its decision from material aspects of the case such as allegations made against accused; nature and gravity of accusation; having common object or intention; severity of punishment if allegations are proved beyond reasonable doubt and would result in a conviction; reasonable apprehension of witnesses being influenced by accused; tampering of evidence; character, behaviour, means, position and standing of accused; likelihood of offence being repeated; the frivolity in the case of prosecution; criminal antecedents of accused and a prima facie satisfaction of Court in support of charge against accused.”

The Court asserted that it may also take note of participation or part of an unlawful assembly as well as that circumstantial evidence not being ground to grant bail if the evidence/ material collected establishes prima facie a complete chain of events.

“Over crowding of jail and gross delay in disposal of cases when undertrials are forced to remain in jail (not due to their fault) may give rise to possible situations that may justify invocation of Article 21 of Constitution, may also be considered along with other factors”, said the Court.

The Court further noted that it was a time when Dengue was spreading and it was difficult to get platelets of the same blood group and black marketing of platelets was prevailing and that the accused is one of such persons, who was indulged in such unethical work.

“He has misused the trust of a patient and indulged in such activity with help of his son that not only took money but to provide such platelets which was not procured from proper licensed place. Knowing it well that it being adulterated platelets and may cause death of a patient, still he indulged in the activity of making money by procuring adulterated platelets and providing it to patient, which ultimately led to death of deceased”, observed the Court.

The Court, therefore, held that the accused not only committed an offence which is against one person but is the one against the public at large.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the bail plea.

Cause Title- Pappu Lal Sahu v. State of U.P.

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