True Court CopyTM English


Criminal Appeal Nos. 1191-1194 of 2005

Decided On: 07.08.2009

Appellants: Malay Kumar Ganguly Vs. Respondent: Sukumar Mukherjee and Ors.
[Alongwith civil Appeal No. 1727 of 2007]

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
S.B. Sinha and Deepak Verma


S.B. Sinha, J.



1. The patient (Anuradha) and her husband Dr. Kunal Saha (for short, "Kunal") were settled in the United States of America. Anuradha, a child Psychologist by profession, was a recent graduate from a prestigious Ivy League School (`Columbia University' in the New York State). Although a doctor by profession, Kunal has been engaged in research on H.I.V/ AIDS for the past 15 years.

2. They left U.S.A. for a vacation to India on 24th March, 1998. They arrived in Calcutta on 1st April, 1998. While in Calcutta, Anuradha developed fever along with skin rash on 25th April, 1998. On 26th April, Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, Respondent No. 1 herein attended and examined Anuradha at her parental residence on a professional call. Dr. Mukherjee assured the patient and her husband of a quick recovery and advised her to take rest but did not prescribe her any specific medicine. However, two weeks thereafter, i.e., on 7th May, 1998, the skin rash reappeared more aggressively. Dr. Mukherjee was again contacted and as per his instructions, Anuradha was taken to his chamber. After examining Anuradha, Dr. Mukherjee prescribed Depomedrol injection 80 mg twice daily for the next three days. Despite administration of the said injection twice daily, Anuradha's condition deteriorated rapidly from bad to worse over the next few days. Accordingly, she was admitted at the Advanced Medicare Research Institute (AMRI) in the morning of 11th May, 1998 under Dr. Mukherjee's supervision. Anuradha was also examined by Dr. Baidyanath Halder, Respondent No. 2 herein. Dr. Halder found that she had been suffering from Erithima plus blisters. Her condition, however, continued to deteriorate further. Dr. Abani Roy Chowdhury, Consultant, Respondent No. 3 was also consulted on 12th May, 1998.

3. On or about 17th May, 1998, Anuradha was shifted to Breach Candy Hospital, Mumbai as her condition further deteriorated severely. She breathed her last on 28th May, 1998.

4. Kunal sent a lawyer's notice to 26 persons on 30th September, 1998. The first 19 addressees were those who had treated Anuradha at Kolkata while addressee numbers 20 to 26 were those who treated her in Mumbai.

5. On or about 19th November, 1998 one of his relatives, Malay Kumar Ganguly filed a Criminal Complaint in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, 24 Paraganas at Alipore against Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee, Dr. Baidyanath Halder and Dr. Abani Roy Chowdhury, respondent Nos. 1, 2 and 3 for commission of offence under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code.

6. Thereafter Kunal filed O.P. Nos. 240 of 1999 against 19 persons who had rendered medical advice/treatment/facilities to Anuradha between 23rd April, 1998 and 17th May, 1998 at Kolkata before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi (Commission). However, pursuant to the orders of the Commission names of some of the respondents were struck off.

7. In the said petition the complainant claimed an amount of compensation of Rs. 77,76,73,500/- with interest for the alleged deficiency in the service rende........