Delhi court directs joint CP to file report on progress in medical negligence case

A local court has pulled up the Delhi Police over its probe into a medical negligence case and issued a notice to a joint commissioner asking him to file a report stating why the investigation has not been completed.

Devarsh Jain, now five years old, suffered severe brain bleeding at the time of birth in August 2017. However, the birth injury, which left him paralysed, was diagnosed seven months later.

His parents claim Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, where Sapna Jain gave birth to him, deliberately hid the birth injury, depriving him of timely treatment. The hospital denied any wrongdoing.

“Till date mechanical reports have been filed by various IOs (investigating officers) who have not bothered to collect the entire medical record of the victim from the accused hospital,” Metropolitan Magistrate Ritika Kansal said in an order dated June 30.

She also expressed dissatisfaction with the status report filed by the police.

“In view of the same, let a notice be issued to worthy Joint CP with direction to file the reason for not being able to complete the investigation in the present matter,” the order added.

The metropolitan magistrate also observed the status report filed in the Rohini District Court by the investigating officer had mentioned that the two doctors accused of negligence in treating the child have genuine MBBS and related medical degrees.

This is contrary to the stance taken by the National Medical Commission — the medical education regulator — which has already mentioned in its affidavit before Delhi High Court in a related case that one of the two doctors is only an MBBS and his other qualification is unrecognised.

Based on a complaint by Sapna Jain, an FIR was registered in October 2019.

Fortis Hospital denied any wrongdoing and even got a clean chit from the Delhi Medical Council. Sapna Jain challenged the clean chit, which was stayed by the high court.

Sapna Jain also questioned the educational qualifications of Dr Vivek Jain and Dr Akhilesh Singh, who had treated the child, in a separate petition before Delhi High Court. The National Medical Commission admitted before the court that Singh is only an MBBS and not a paediatrics specialist.

Singh, in a separate affidavit, said that despite having completed his Diplomate in Paediatrics and Fellowship in Neonatology, neither did he practise as an independent specialist in paediatrics or neonatology nor did the hospital advertise him as being a specialist in neonatology on its website.

About Vivek Jain, the National Medical Commission submitted that the Delhi Medical Council granted registration for his MBBS degree and additional registration for his MRCPCH membership. However, the commission is only aware of his MBBS degree.

Vivek Jain contested the allegation and said that he completed two-and-a-half years of training in neonatology with the Department of Neonatology, Oliver Fisher Neonatal Unit at Medway Maritime Hospital, UK.

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The Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH) is an international examination.

Sapna Jain’s lawyer told the metropolitan magistrate that the investigating officer was present in these high court proceedings and was aware of the commission’s stand.

The Rohini District Court had on a previous occasion asked the investigating officer to examine Sapna Jain’s contention about fabrication of medical records by the hospital. However, according to the status reports filed by the investigating officer, the court found that no such investigation has been conducted.

The metropolitan magistrate has posted the matter for further hearing on July 27.

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