A Sessions court here has summoned the head of department and a doctor of the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences to face trial in a case of alleged medical negligence after setting aside a magistrate’s order dismissing the complaint.

The complainant, Munni, had taken her daughter, Neeru Chauhan, to IHBAS for treatment of the girl’s epilepsy condition on July 12, 2008. Munni alleged that the respondents had asked that an MRI be done and meanwhile, two injections were administered on her daughter’s left hand upon which it turned blue and swelling occurred.

The case was referred by the IHBAS to GTB Hospital from where it was further referred to AIIMS and lastly to Safdarjung Hospital. It was detected that the veins of left hand of the complainant's daughter had been blocked allegedly due to wrong administration of injection. Four fingers from Neeru’s left hand had to be amputated, three of which had been affected by gangrene. The mother then approached the trial court for prosecution of the doctor concerned.

The complainant had examined herself and her daughter besides two surgeons from the Safdarjung Hospital and GTB Hospital as witnesses for pre-summoning evidence. Both doctors while certifying the complainant’s version that she had visited the two hospitals - upon reference from IBHAS - said that the injections given in IHBAS “probably contributed” to Neeru’s condition.

The Magistrate chose not to summon the doctor responsible after ruling that no “concrete” evidence was provided by the two witness doctors. The Magistrate also noted that the witnesses had not stated what was the line of treatment which should have been advised and which was not adopted.

Additional Sessions Judge T. S. Kashyap said in his order that at the stage of summoning the testimony of the two doctors was sufficient to form an opinion because no doctor would be in a “position to say anything concrete”.

The Sessions court said the magistrate has “misinterpreted the judicial authority on the facts of this case and therefore the impugned order deserves to be set aside”. The court sent the case file back to the trial court with the direction to summon the accused persons to face the trial for the offence under Section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code.

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