DATE OF JUDGEMENT: 05th April 2021
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SUBRAMONIUM PRASADCORAM
ISSUE: The question present before the Court was that should bail be granted for simple medical conditions which are very easily treatable disorders, and which can be suppressed and contained by taking oral medications.
SUMMARY: The High court of Delhi warns private doctors and hospitals against providing questionable and sketchy medical reports before the court such acts will be punishable under section 192 of IPC.
Section 439(2) and 482 of CrPC
Sections 302, 207, 201, 120B, and 34 of IPC
Sections 25 and 27 of Arms act.
Section 192 of IPC.
Section 340 of Criminal Procedure Code
1. The present petition under section 439(2) read with 482 CrPC was filed by the petitioner challenging the bail on medical grounds which was granted to respondent number 2 by order dated on 5th January 2021 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Rohini courts, Delhi in the case of FIR No. 452/2017 dated 29th December 2017 registered under sections 302, 207, 201, 120B, and 34 of IPC and sections 25 and 27 of Arms act.
2. Even after being asked to surrender buy the order. The court is further looking into the matter due to the sketchy medical reports given by the jail authorities while granting the bail. It was discovered that the reports filed by the superintendent of jail are not clear and the medical terms used are not easy to decipher by the Judges. The reports fail to bring out the correct picture and reports given by the hospitals are the doctors which are ultimately used for granting of bail are sketchy and incomplete.
3. The record shows that in this case respondent number to approach the sessions judge seeking interim bail reporting that he is suffering from various ailments along with the critical tumor in the chest. It is also stated that his condition is getting worse and more critical as he is not getting required treatment. It was also further stated that the respondent could not breathe properly, and a high risk of Cancer is there if the tumor is not treated properly.
4. The medical report of 4th November 2020 of the respondent submitted by the superintendent of jail stated that - the FNAC (Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology) test of the right breast tissue of the patient was carried out in the pathology lab on 4th August 2020 which was suggestive of Gynecomastia (enlargement of breast tissue) and piles.
5. A second medical report which was dated on 23rd November 2020 of the respondent was also submitted by the superintendent of jail which states that - the patient is a known case of right sided Gynecomastia and piles along with diabetes and blood pressure. Subsequently, he was provided with symptomatic treatment and was advised for referral to DDU hospital for further workup for surgery.
6. On the basis of the above reports interim bail was granted to the respondent. The order was later challenged by the petitioner contending that the bail granted to the respondent which he jumped and remained absconding for 461 days that he was arrested again on 9th July 2020 and it is also stated that he is further involved in 8 other cases.
7. Further study into the matter was concluded and the results came out stating that -
a) The patient had hypertension and diabetes both of which had been termed and controllable but later report showed that both have been brought under control
b) the patient had gynecomastia which means enlargement of the male breast and nothing else there was no tumor neither benign or malignant as a list by the patient himself.
It was concluded that the respondents clean of chest tumor and risk of Cancer were misleading at the least.
8. The court further scrutinized the reports saying that - when such clarifications are missing in a medical report, it does not assist the court rather the report hides vital information from the court.
9. The court for the stated that conditions like hypertension and diabetes can be easily treated in the jail hospital and a majority of Jail inmates suffer from them.
10. The question before the Court was that should bail be granted for these simple conditions which are very easily treatable disorders which can be suppressed and contained by taking oral medications. This condition which was termed tumor in the chest causing difficulty in breathing in reality was simply a cosmetic surgery.
11. The court further said that the medical reports provided by the doctors should be explicit and explain the condition very well not only medical jargon but also in simple language. The doctors preparing the report must also clearly give their intimate impression and opinion as to whether the condition requires any urgency or emergency. Like in the present case, the medical report uses the term 'gynecomastia' which in common language means enlarged male breast tissue and such ambiguity must be avoided in the future.
12. The court also scrutinized the surgery done by the private doctor, Dr. Preet Singh Chawla and also stated that his medical report was seriously lacking some major information the details given in the surgery report did not even mention the previous FNAC done in the jail. Even no biopsy was clearly stated in the medical report.
13. The court also observed that the surgery for metric reasons only was only of four front to get bail for the respondent and he has abused the bail granted to him. The doctors about even mention removal of tumor while there was no tumor present and there was no mention of a biopsy anywhere in the report. All this eventually leads to a lot of suspicion and presence of foul play and ambiguity and there is a huge concern whether the procedure done by the private hospital was in good faith. Such wishy-washy medical documents should lead to cancellation of the license of such doctors if found to be lacking or falsely done.
14. The court also stated that this found reports from several private hospitals which are very veiled and does not disclose the correct diagnostic terms and those terms cannot be appreciated by a judge who is not from the medical background. Sketchy and questionable medical documents coming from any private hospital or doctor with ambiguity are any incomplete document in illegible handwriting will not be further tolerated and will be viewed with serious suspicion.
15. The court also laid down the following points which have to be mentioned in the medical reports from the jail hospital -
a) what is the diagnosis?
b) if it can be treated in the Jail Hospital itself.
c) If there is any urgency or emergency and the nature of such emergency should be clearly mentioned as well.
Also, some points were laid down by the court for the procedure followed if the patient is referred to some private Doctor or hospital.
16. If it is found in any report that an attempt was made to prolong or use any lame excuse and take the help of any such ambiguous medical documents or conditions provided by doubtful private doctors, it would be seriously viewed by the court and you action will be taken against those driving doctors. Santosh doctors who present such sketchy reports to to court are guilty of an offence under section 192 of IPC.
17. File mentioning that the present Court is fit for the exercise of powers under section 340 of criminal Procedure Code against the doctors the court is not doing so only because the accused has surrendered and as back in the custody. But the court advises the doctors to be more cautious when giving medical certificates and medical reports for the purpose of submitting them is evidence before a court of law.
18. The said petition is disposed with the above-mentioned observations.
The present case was brought before the Court when respondent was in custody for offences under section 302, 207, 201, 120B, and 34 of IPC and sections 25 and 27 of Arms act was granted bail on the grounds of medical report provided by the doctors. The reports claim that the f in ac test concluded that the patient was suffering from Gynecomastia and Piles along with hypertension and Diabetes. With later investigation into the matter, it was found of that gynecomastia just the enlargement of the male breast and there was no urgency or emergency in the matter and the surgery was only for cosmetic reasons. Contrary to the claims by the respondent there was no tumor present there was no risk of cancer. But still he was granted bail on the basis of these medical reports which proved out to be sketch and questionable.
The court held that such medical reports should not be full of medical jargon should be easily understandable by a judge in the court and if there is something sketchy or any misrepresentation of conditions or the urgency or emergency of the condition is falsely presented by the Doctor, such an act would be considered an offence under section 192 of Indian Penal Code, 1860. The court also laid down various guidelines to be followed while presenting the medical report by the jail hospital doctors and the doctors in private hospitals.
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