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Can't Pass Blanket Orders To Protect Doctors From Acts Of Violence By Relatives Of Patients: Karnataka High Court

Mustafa Plumber
2 Dec 2021 8:02 AM GMT
Cant Pass Blanket Orders To Protect Doctors From Acts Of Violence By Relatives Of Patients: Karnataka High Court
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The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by one Dr Vinod G Kulkarni, seeking directions to authorities to protect doctors/medical practitioners from acts of violence by dissatisfied relatives of patients. A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum said,"We cannot issue a blanket direction to authorities to...

The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by one Dr Vinod G Kulkarni, seeking directions to authorities to protect doctors/medical practitioners from acts of violence by dissatisfied relatives of patients.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum said,

"We cannot issue a blanket direction to authorities to protect government and private doctors. In case of any individual incident, the matter shall be brought to the notice of the concerning authority, who may deal in accordance with law. In case a criminal act is committed, it is expected that due action will be taken against the culprits."

The petition sought a direction that security/police personnel be posted at all hospitals which have a minimum strength of 10 indoor beds. Further, it was prayed that a police officer not below the rank of a head constable should daily visit the hospitals located in the jurisdiction to make enquiries of any mishaps created by patients or the relatives of the patients.

It was claimed that doctors swear and abide by the historical Hippocratic oath and no doctor intentionally harms any patient. However, ever since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic there has been an alarming rise in cases of violence against doctors and health care professionals throughout India.

"Protection of doctors and all the health care workers against any kind of violence or attack or damage to the hospital property is the prime duty of the state and the Union of India...A treating doctor is subjected to cruelty, violence, atrocity or bodily injury to himself or his staff, tantamounts to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution," it was contended.

The government had opposed the plea saying,

"The pleadings made in the petition are too vague and do not make out any case for interference. Due procedure is provided under law particularly under criminal jurisprudence against culprits who are involved in such activities. Whenever, any such incident is brought to the knowledge of authorities appropriate legal action is taken including criminal action and FIR is lodged and culprits are booked under law."

Following which the court dismissed the petition.

Case Title: Dr Vinod G Kulkarni And State of Karnataka

Case No: WP 13607/2021

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