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Bombay High Court to pass order in plea seeking stricter laws to protect doctors

PIL claims Maharashtra witnesses maximum instances of violence against doctors

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said it will pass an order in a plea seeking stricter laws and regulations to protect doctors from being attacked and assaulted by family members of patients.

A division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Dr. Rajeev Joshi, seeking orders from the court to protect doctors from being attacked.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni informed the court that complaints by doctors can be booked under the Indian Penal Code and complaints of medical negligence and professional misconduct against doctors can be registered by the expert cell constituted to protect doctors from unverified complaints.

In the last hearing, Mr. Kumbhakoni had said there is an expert committee consisting of experts from the medical field, senior police officers, and stakeholders at district level. He also said that the original law will be repealed, and a fresh law will be enacted.

The court said amending or repealing the law is a decision. We should not have multiple committees for the purpose of filing a FIR. There can be a preliminary inquiry before registering the FIR.

In the last hearing on Tuesday the court had suggested looking at the West Bengal law that protects doctors. It said, “The law bars civil suits so the judiciary will be less burdened.” After hearing all the arguments, the court said it will pass an order in this matter.

The PIL alleges that Maharashtra witnesses a maximum number of such instances of violence. According to the plea, the Maharashtra government had failed to implement the Maharashtra Medicare Service, Persons and Medicare Institutions (Prevention of violence and damage or loss of property) Act, 2010, to curb such instances.

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