Chattisgarh HC Dismisses Doctor's Plea To Quash A Case Registered Against Him For Medical Negligence In Which Woman Died After Sterilization Operation
The Chattisgarh High Court dismissed a Petition filed by a Doctor seeking to quash the charge sheet and order framing charges under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
In its prima facie opinion, the Court noted that the charges against the Petitioner cannot be dismissed. The Doctor had prescribed "Ciprocin 500" and "Ibuprofen" tablets post the operation, and there are concerns that these medications may have caused the illnesses. The Court noted that the Petitioner, a partner of M/s. Kavita Laboratories was involved in the testing of medicines provided by the company during the sterilization camp and, hence, was fully aware of the standards followed by the company.
Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha observed, “From perusal of the return filed by the State, it is evident that during course of investigation, the respondent/State have seized a certificate in Form 21(B) issued by the Licensing Authority, Bilaspur, in which, the name of the petitioner was clearly mentioned as Partner of the M/s. Kavita Laboratories, Bilaspur. A copy of the certificate in Form 21(B) of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules, 1945 issued by the Licensing Authority, Bilaspur is annexed in the return as Annexure R/1. The prosecution has also seized a certificate in Form 26 issued by the State Licensing Authority, Food and Drugs Administration, Raipur, whereby, the name of the present petitioner has been approved as Technical Staff for ‘on testing side’. From the said documents, it is very clear that the petitioner was a partner of M/s. Kavita Laboratories, Bilaspur and he was also performing the work as technical staff on testing side and the petitioner was fully aware about the standard of medicines which was supplied by M/s. Kavita Laboratories, Bilaspur during aforesaid sterilization camp”.
Senior Advocate Abhishek Sinha appeared for the Petitioner, and Deputy Advocate General Madhunisha Singh appeared for the Respondent/State.
An FIR was lodged against Dr. R.K. Gupta (Petitioner) and his team for allegedly committing an offence under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). It was reported that Dr. Gupta conducted a Laparoscopic Sterilization Operation on several women who later became ill and were rushed to the hospital. An investigation revealed that the women were given a medical kit containing "Ciprocin 500" and "Ibubrufen" tablets after the sterilization procedure. There were concerns that the medication may have caused their illnesses, and the medicine was taken for further testing. The Petitioner approached the Court by way of a Criminal Petition challenging the charge sheet and the order framing charges of the Trial Court.
The Petitioner argued that as an Analytical Chemist at Kavo Pharma, he could not be held responsible for the manufacture or supply of drugs as he was not involved in those actions. Furthermore, the charge sheet does not specify any specific actions or overt acts on the Petitioner's part that would warrant prosecution.
The Respondent argued that the Petitioner was a partner of M/s. Kavita Laboratories and worked as technical staff responsible for testing. The Petitioner was fully aware of the quality standards of the medicines supplied during the sterilization camp.
Upon examination of the State's filed return, the Court observed that a certificate in Form 21(B) from the Licensing Authority in Bilaspur was seized during the investigation, which indicated the Petitioner's name as a partner of M/s. Kavita Laboratories. Additionally, the Court noted that a certificate in Form 26 from the State Licensing Authority for Food and Drugs Administration in Raipur was seized, which approved the Petitioner as Technical Staff for 'on the testing side.' The Court noted that these documents make it evident that the Petitioner, a partner of M/s. Kavita Laboratories was involved in testing medicines supplied by the company during the sterilization camp, fully aware of the standards followed by them.
The Court reiterated that when considering whether to quash a case, the Court must only review the evidence presented by the prosecution. The Court noted that it cannot analyze the defense of the accused or weigh the evidence produced. The Court further observed that the disputed factual questions cannot be resolved at this stage under Section 482 Cr.P.C. Instead, the Court must only evaluate the prima facie prosecution case as it stands.
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Petition.
Cause Title: Manish Khare v. State of Chhattisgarh Through Police Station Chakarbhata