Acting on its earlier warnings, Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court recently slapped Rs. 5000 as costs on a doctor of Bahraich District Hospital for writing a post-mortem report in illegible handwriting.
Justice Anant Kumar opined that Dr. Rama Shankar Gupta “cannot be excused”, and ordered the amount to be deducted from his salary. The amount is expected to be deposited in the Oundh Bar Association library fund.
The court was hearing a bail application filed by one Shiv Poojan, who had been accused under Sections 498A IPC (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 304B (dowry death) IPC & Section 3/4 Dowry Prohibition Act.
The bail application had been opposed by the prosecution, contending that their marriage had taken place less than seven years back and that the wife was now found dead due to antemortem strangulation, thereby providing sufficient grounds for proceeding with the case.
Assisting the court, Dr. Rama Shankar Gupta filed a typed copy of the post mortem report, along with his personal affidavit, wherein he had submitted that his hand writing was not too legible in the report “due to heavy work load”.
Not convinced with this excuse, the court observed, “The explanation given by Dr. Rama Shankar Gupta is not satisfactory. Time and again this Court as well as the State Government by issuing Government Order had instructed the doctors to scribe post mortem report and injury report in such handwriting which could be readable to all stakeholders including the Court, so that speedy justice may be imparted but it is because of the poor handwriting while scribing the post mortem report, disposal of this case was sufficiently delayed.”
It then took note of several recent Allahabad High Court orders, wherein judges had rapped medical professionals for their illegible handwriting and had warned them against presenting unreadable reports in the court.
While the bail application was rejected, the court imposed costs on the doctor, ordering, “Accordingly, a cost of Rs.5,000/- is imposed upon Dr. Rama Shankar Gupta which would be deposited by him within a period of 10 days in the Library Fund of Oudh Bar Association.”
Read the Order Here