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NRI scientist appeals to president for justice

Kolkata, Oct 9 (IANS) Indian American AIDS researcher Kunal Saha, fighting a case of medical negligence in India after his wife's death, has urged President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to order an independent inquiry into possible collusion between the country's highest consumer court and the accused doctors.

Monday, October 9, 2006 | 8:33:30 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Kolkata, Oct 9 (IANS) Indian American AIDS researcher Kunal Saha, fighting a case of medical negligence in India after his wife's death, has urged President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to order an independent inquiry into possible collusion between the country's highest consumer court and the accused doctors.

Saha's wife Anuradha died in May 1998 in Mumbai's Breach Candy Hospital after alleged wrong treatment and negligence by eminent doctors in a Kolkata hospital. He has alleged that the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) was in collusion with the five top Kolkata doctors blamed for the death.

Saha, who is based in Ohio, also made the appeal to Chief Justice of India Y.K Sabharwal besides President Kalam after his case - the highest-ever compensation case in Indian medical history - was dismissed by the NCDRC.

'I have made a passionate and personal appeal to the chief justice and the president seeking an inquiry by an independent body as I apprehend collusion between the accused doctors and the consumer court in Delhi,' Saha told IANS.

'After almost eight years of a fiercely fought and seemingly impossible battle against the five doctors (Sukumar Mukherjee, Abani Roychowdhury, Baidyanath Halder, Balaram Prasad and Kausik Nandy) and AMRI-Apollo Hospital in Kolkata, the NCDRC had finally dismissed June 1, 2006, the compensation claim of Rs.777 million by me,' Saha said.

A civil appeal against the decision was filed last week in the Supreme Court.

However, this time the claim was put even at a higher amount - a whopping Rs.1.43 billion - that includes interest of 12 percent annually since 1998 when the case was first filed by him.

'Through the media I am making my appeal to the chief justice and the president public now,' Saha said.

Saha, who has set up 'People for Better Treatment' society to protect patients' interests, has said that if and when he wins the compensation, he will spend the entire amount in India for promotion of health.

A separate criminal case against three of the doctors is pending before the apex court. Two of the doctors were earlier convicted by a trial court in Kolkata and sentenced to three months rigorous imprisonment - the first in Indian medical jurisprudence.

But the Calcutta High Court reversed the judgment. The Supreme Court granted him special leave Sep 12, 2005, to appeal against the high court judgment.

Copyright : Indo-Asian News Service
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