BENGALURU: The high court has quashed a medical negligence case against an ENT surgeon, citing three-year delay in filing a complaint by the patient and failure of a subordinate court to follow norms prescribed by the Supreme Court. The complaint was lodged by K Sigbathulla against Dr Prabhakar, a medical practitioner in Sagar town of Shivamogga district.Allowing Prabhakar’s plea, Justice Alok Aradhe noted that the SC directions in the case of Martin F D’Souza in 2009 had not been followed. The opinion of an expert doctor/committee on the issue must precede taking cognisance and issuing notice to any medical practitioner in a medical negligence case. The judge said the complaint was filed only on March 5, 2016, well beyond the one-year limitation period. “The continuance of the proceedings against the petitioner amounts to abuse of process of law,” Justice Aradhe noted, while quashing the December 23, 2016 order of JMFC, Sagar, taking cognizance under section 284 of IPC against Prabhakar for negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance. The backstory A chronic tobacco chewer, Sigbathulla was experiencing difficulty while opening his mouth and had consulted Dr Prabhakar on March 6, 2013. Prabhakar treated him from March 6 to 19. However, on March 19, owing to sideeffects of the medicine, there was pus formation in Sigbathulla’s back jaw. On March 5, 2016, Sigbathulla filed a complaint before the JMFC court seeking action against Prabhakar under sections 284 and 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC. Prabhakar challenged the complaint before a sessions court in Shivamogga. On February 25, 2017, the court quashed the complaint under section 326 but took cognizance under section 284.
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