The Chhattisgarh High Court quashed an FIR against doctors who were implicated in a medical negligence (Section 304A IPC) case involving the death of a 6-year-old child.

The Bench took note of the minute examination conducted by the Medical Board of the CG Medical Council to hold that the Doctors were well-qualified and registered medical practitioners.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Rajani Dubey observed, “The petitioners are the well qualified and registered medical practitioners vide Annexure P/3. The material collected during investigation do not disclose any such act committed by the petitioners which falls below the standards of a reasonably competent practitioner in the field. True it is that son of the complainant suffered untimely death after surgery of Hernia being done by the petitioners, however, the fact that the petitioners charged with negligence acted in accordance with the general and approved practice is enough to clear them of the charge.

Sr. Advocate Vivek Ranjan Tiwari represented the petitioners, while AG Vinay Pandey appeared for the respondents.

After undergoing hernia surgery at a hospital, a 6-year-old child passed away when their condition deteriorated following the procedure. The parents of the child lodged an FIR against the doctors under Sections 304A and 34 of IPC alleging that the surgery was negligently performed without sufficient means.

Apart from the FIR, a complaint was made against the doctors to the CG Medical Council which was duly examined by a committee of expert doctors who did not find the doctors guilty of any medical negligence.

The doctors contended that the surgery was conducted with due care and caution, and there was no evidence to suggest medical negligence and therefore filed a petition to quash the FIR registered against them.

So far as cases of medical negligence are concerned, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has consistently held in plethora of its decisions that the standard of care which is expected of a medical professional is the treatment which is expected of one with a reasonable degree of skill and knowledge. A medical practitioner would be liable only where the conduct falls below the standards of a reasonably competent practitioner in the field,” the Court remarked.

The Court reiterated the decision of the Supreme Court in Jacob Mathew v State of Punjab, (2005) 6 SCC 1 where the Court upheld the standard of the ordinary competent medical practitioner exercising an ordinary degree of professional skill and held that the standard of care must be in accordance with “general and approved practice.

Consequently, the Court quashed the FIR and the consequential criminal proceedings against the doctors.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the petition.

Cause Title: Dr. Prabhat Panigrahi & Ors. v. State Of Chhattisgarh & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:CGHC:15612-DB)


Petitioners: Sr. Advocate Vivek Ranjan Tiwari; Advocate Atul Kumar Kesharwani

Respondents: AG Vinay Pandey; Advocate L.S. Bhadoriya

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