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The National Commission's Revisional Jurisdiction Under Sec 21 Of Consumer Protection Act Is Limited.

Saurabh Uttam Kamble ,
  31 March 2023       Share Bookmark

Court :
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi
Brief :

Citation :
REVISION PETITION NO. 3304 OF 2012 & REVISION PETITION NO. 3395 OF 2012- Dr. Rajender Manchanda Vs Chhinder Kaur & 8 Ors REVISION PETITION NO. 4582 OF 2012- New India Assurance Co. Ltd.Vs Chhinder Kaur & 9 Ors

Case title:

Revision Petition - Dr. Rajender Manchanda Vs Chhinder Kaur & 8 Ors And New India Assurance Co. Ltd.Vs Chhinder Kaur & 9 Ors

Date of Order:

15-03-2023

Bench:

HON'BLE DR. S.M. KANTIKAR, PRESIDING MEMBER

HON'BLE MR. BINOY KUMAR, MEMBER

Parties: 

Petitioner: - Dr. Rajender Manchanda and New India Assurance Co

Respondent: Chhinder Kaur & 8 Ors

SUBJECT:

  • This order addresses the three revision petitions that were submitted in accordance with Section 21 of the 1986 Consumer Protection Act.
  • Dr. Harbinder Singh, the head of Guru Ram Dass Hospital (also known as the Hospital or OP- 1), evaluated the deceased Baj Singh in September 2003 ( patient).
  • According to the diagnosis of a gall bladder stone and the recommendation for surgery, he was admitted to the hospital on October 11, 2003.
  • It was claimed that on October 12, 2003, at around 7 a.m., the patient was brought into the operating room (OT). Dr. Rajinder Manchanda (OP-3) administered an IV injection of pentothal sodium without administering a test dosage prior to the anaesthetic.
  • The patient instantly started shaking. After then, Dr. Harbinder Singh administered the Pentothal injection all at once, and the patient's condition deteriorated. The nearby relatives of OT were asked to leave the room.
  • The three doctors were allegedly seen dashing in and out of the OT while confused and panicked by the relatives. The doctors from outside were also called during the emergency, and the oxygen cylinder and other equipment were prepared from another hospital.
  • The patient's death was then announced to the complainant and his or her loved ones two hours later.
  • Although the police just recorded DDR in the roznama, the relatives of the deceased filed a FIR at the police station under Section 304/34 IPC.
  • On October 12, 2003, a postmortem was performed, but the board of doctors withheld the cause of death on the pretence that it would be revealed once the Chemical Examiner and Pathology had submitted their test results.
  • The incident was also reported in the "Punjab Kesari" newspaper on October 13, 2003. Despite demands, the SSP did not record the FIR. Eventually, the complainant obtained a xerox copy of the pathology department's report dated 02.11.2004 and learned that the death was caused by a drug reaction-induced cardio respiratory arrest.
  • He brought a criminal complaint against the OPs 1 to 3 before the Court of CJM, Ferozepur, on the basis of the aforementioned report.
  • Moreover, filed a consumer complaint against the OPs at the Consumer Forum in Ferozpur alleging medical negligence and asking for reimbursement of Rs. 18,00,000 and Rs. 1,000,000 for failing to provide the necessary paperwork.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

  • CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT, 1986

  • Section 21- Jurisdiction of the National Commission.
  • Section 21(b)- To request records and issue appropriate orders in any consumer dispute that is pending before or has already been resolved by a State Commission when it appears to the National Commission that such State Commission has acted illegally or with material irregularity while acting within the scope of its legal authority or has failed to act within the scope of a legal authority that has been granted to it.
  • Indian Penal Code, 1860 -
  • Section 34- Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.
  • Section 304- Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

OVERVIEW:

  • The District Forum granted the complaint in part and awarded Rs. 3,60,000/ with the remark that the opposing parties might have controlled the reaction but lacked the necessary infrastructure. The consultation of medical specialists and the delivery of life-saving drugs are delayed. It appears that medical negligence was involved in this case.
  • In an effort to increase the compensation, the Insurance Company, Guru Ramdass Hospital, and Dr. Rajender Manchanda filed First Appeal No. 999 of 2008 on behalf of themselves and the Complainants filed Appeal No. 993 of 2008.
  • The State Commission modified the Order of the District Forum with increased compensation from Rs. 3,60,000/- to Rs. 7,00,000/-, which was payable by Dr. Harbinder Singh and Dr. Rajinder Manchanda jointly and severally. 
  • The State Commission dismissed the Appeal No. 999 of 2008 and partially allowed the Appeal No. 993 of 2008

ISSUES RAISED:

Jurisdiction limits of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission under Sec 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT:

  • The petitioner's counsel claimed that the State Commission improperly increased the pay. The patient had no direct relationship with him and had not given him any consideration, thus no claim could be made against him and no need for compensation would exist. 
  • He added that the petitioner was employed by City Hospital but was off duty on October 12, 2003, a Sunday. The staff brought the patient to OT, where the petitioner assessed the OT and anesthetic equipment and verified everything was in functioning order. 
  • He added that the petitioner had been cleared of all accusations by the Punjab government's Department of Health.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT:

  • The hospital's paramedical staff informed Complainant No. 1 that the patient passed away shortly after receiving anaesthesia, but OPs Nos. 1, 2, and 3 purposefully withheld this information. The OT medical staff made no attempts to revive the patient.
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) equipment was not present in the OT. The OT lacked a ventilator, a defibrillator, a cardiac monitor, etc. As a result, both the hospital and the doctors were careless.
  • The anesthetist, Dr. Manchanda (OP-3), was employed by the Civil Hospital in Ferozepur City, and the complainant also stated that on the day in question, he was rushing to resume his duties there. Thus, without performing a pre-test, he quickly administered IV anesthesia. In accordance with government regulations, OP-3 was not permitted to go to a private hospital to give anesthesia.

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS:

  • The current case examines the factual findings that the Commission's revisional jurisdiction is constrained. The challenged Order issued by the State Commission does not contain any illegalities, significant irregularities, or jurisdictional errors that the court finds to warrant intervention in revisional jurisdiction under Section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Supreme Court's ruling in Rubi (Chandra) Dutta v. M/s United India Insurance Co. Ltd. [ 2011 11 SCC 269] is one that the court cited..
  • Hon’ble Supreme Court in ‘Sunil Kumar Maity vs. State Bank of India & Anr.’[Civil Appeal No. 432 / 2022 Order dated 21.01.2022], it was held that the revisional Jurisdiction of this Commission is confined by analyzing that-
  • It goes without saying that the National Commission's revisional authority under Section 21(b) of the aforementioned Act is incredibly confined. It should only be used in the circumstances envisioned within the confines of the aforementioned provision, namely when it appears to the National Commission that the State Commission had exercised a jurisdiction not granted to it by law, had failed to exercise a jurisdiction so granted, or had acted illegally or with material irregularity while acting within the scope of that jurisdiction.
  • In the present case, the National Commission itself went beyond its scope of revisional authority by requesting the respondent- bank's report and relying its decision solely on it. As a result, it was determined that the two fora below made errors by failing to conduct the necessary in-depth analysis of the case.

CONCLUSION:

  • Respectfully adhering to the guidelines established by the Hon. Supreme Court, the current revision petitions are dismissed since the court does not find them to have any validity. In light of the circumstances, the State Commission's decision is just and right. As a result, the State Commission's contested Order is upheld. Bearing in view the facts and circumstances of the present case, there shall be no order as to expenses.
  • Examining the report of the medical board that the deputy commissioner of Ferozepur appointed, which included Drs. Baghi, and Harsh Bhola, M.S. The board concluded that the OPs' care was proper and without fault
 
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