Supreme Court says doctor can be prosecuted if wrong treatment kills patient

October 20th, 2008 - 9:38 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Oct 20 (ANI): The Supreme Court has ruled today that a doctor can be prosecuted for causing death due to rash and negligent act if his patient dies after being administered wrong injections.

But the doctor cannot be prosecuted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder which entails a higher punishment, a bench of Justices C K Thakker and D K Jain ruled.

The bench passed the ruling while partly allowing the appeal filed by a doctor who challenged the summons issued by a trial court for prosecuting him under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in connection with the death of a patient.

While punishment for rash and negligent act (section 304 A IPC) is two years; a maximum of life sentence can be imposed for an offence under culpable homicide not amounting to murder (section 304 IPC).

In this case the trial court in Mathura had issued the summons to doctor Mahadev Prasad Kaushik on the complaint of a person alleging that his father Buddha Ram who was brought to the doctor’’s clinic with body pain died after being administered three injections by the physician.

Following allegations that the local police was shielding the accused doctor, the local magistrate issued summons to Kaushik under IPC Sections 304(culpable homicide not amounting to murder) 504 (insulting behaviour) and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation).

The accused doctor challenged the move to issue summons before Allahabad High Court, which dismissed his plea following which he filed the SLP in the apex court. (ANI)

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