The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday sought the State government’s response on a PIL petition seeking measures to protect medical practitioners from attacks from the relatives of patients and to appoint a joint expert committee to address the grievances of doctors.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice N.S. Sanjay Gowda issued the direction on the petition, filed by Vinod G. Kulkarni, a neuropsychiatrist from Hubballi. The petitioner complained that attacks on medical professionals, particularly doctors, by the family members of patients were on the rise and several such instances were reported during the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The petitioner contended that subjecting doctors to cruelty, violence, and atrocity by any means, including attacks on them/the hospitals/health infrastructure/their family members, amounted to a violation of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Dr. Kulkarni also said that besides effectively enforcing the existing legal remedies available for the protection of doctors, several other measures were required to provide security to medical practitioners, including setting up a committee headed by a retired High Court judge.