The Supreme Court Bar Association has passed a resolution, condemning the failure of the Supreme Court security staff and the medical personnel at the NDMC run clinic at the premises, in preventing the "avoidable" demise of Advocate SK Dhingra within the Court complex.
The Association has urged the CJI to ensure that such mishap does not occur in the future and that medical facilities including ambulance, staff, equipment and life saving medicines are always made available at the NDMC clinic, to help all needy persons from within the Court complex.
The Association has demanded that the clinics be upgraded and adequate medical facilities be made available including an ambulance, and trained doctors with competent medical staff.
It has also decided to procure and keep life saving drugs for emergencies, in the SCBA office itself, and at other appropriate places in Chamber Blocks, in consultation with doctors.
80 year old lawyer, Mr SK Dhingra, passed away on the July 8, after suffering from a cardiac arrest within the Supreme Court premises. It is alleged that he was unable to avail any kind of medical assistance from the government dispensary situated within the premises as it did not have required medicines, or even a doctor present.
Mr Dhingra was in his chambers within the Supreme Court premises, where he suffered a cardiac arrest. His clerk immediately called the Supreme Court Dispensary, but was informed that no doctor was available there. The Clerk also called Mr. Dhingra's daughter, advocate Shefali Mitra, who rushed to Court.
On her way, she repeatedly dialed the Emergency clinic asking for a doctor to be sent to his chamber immediately, or provide the patient with Sorbitrate, the medication used as an emergency drug when there's a heart related issue. But no such relief was available as the clinic was unequipped to meet her requests.
Upon reaching Supreme Court, she tried to enter the premises from Gate B, which was the nearest gate on her route, but was not allowed to do so by the guards on duty since that Gate is a designated 'Exit' gate, not meant for entry of cars. Despite apprising security of the emergency, they were not persuaded to break protocol and asked her to drive in through the other gate. The said other gate is a bend away with a traffic signal on the way, which usually experiences a great deal of traffic.
The advocate who practiced for over 50 years, died on the premises of the country's highest Court, without any form of medical assistance being available to him for almost an hour. His death raises grave concerns on the preparedness of the Top Court to handle medical emergencies, and the lack of sensitization of the staff deployed in the Court premises. Despite nominal infrastructure being in place, the lack of emergency medical services and administration of the Supreme Court must bear the responsibility of Mr. Dhingra's passing.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court Advocates On Record Association (SCAORA) had passed a Resolution seeking time-bound enquiry into the allegations of medical negligence. It also demanded that a Standard Operating Procedure be put in place and that security be sensitized to deal with situations involving medical emergencies.
Click Here To Download Resolution