SC considers Medical Council report relevant for Medical Negligence claim

SC considers Medical Council report relevant for Medical Negligence claim

Medical Council of India criticizes Professional Conduct of doctors

Harnek Singh vs Gurmit Singh

 CA 4126-4127/2022 | 18 May 2022

Coram: Justices UU Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and PS Narasimha

The Supreme Court observed

·         That the findings of the report of Medical Council of India on professional conduct of doctors are relevant while considering medical negligence compensation claims.

·         The bench comprising Justices UU Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and PS Narasimha also observed that in the proceedings for damages due to professional negligence, the question of intention does not arise.


In this case, the complainants before the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission prayed for monetary compensation quantified at Rs. 62, 85,160 from Surgeons, Doctors and Hospital for negligence and deficiency of services. SCDRC partly allowed the complaint and two among the opposite parties were directed to pay Rs. 15, 44,000 jointly and severally and Rs. 10,000 as costs. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission allowed the appeal of these opposite parties and set aside the order of the SCDRC holding that negligence was not proved by the complainants

While the proceedings were pending before the SCDRC, the complainants had also made a complaint to the Punjab State Medical Council against the professional misconduct of the doctors/surgeons/hospitals. As this complaint got summarily disposed of, they filed appeals before Medical Council of India. The Ethics Committee of MCI held one doctor medically negligent and issued a strict warning to be more careful during the procedure and to be more diligent in treating and monitoring his patients during and after the operation.

Before the Apex Court in appeal, the complainants/appellants submitted that NCDRC gave its decision without referring to the MCI finding. Referring to the contents in the report of MCI, the bench observed that the opinion and findings of the MCI regarding the professional conduct of Respondent have great relevance. It observed:

The above-referred findings of the MCI on the conduct of Respondent 1 leave no doubt in our mind that this is certainly a case of medical negligence leading to deficiency in his services... We are of the opinion that the NCDRC has committed an error in reversing the findings of the SCDRC and not adverting to the evidence on record including the report of the MCI. The decision of the NCDRC deserves to be set aside and we hold that the complainants have made out a case of medical negligence against Respondents 1 and 2 and are entitled to seek compensation on the ground of deficiency of service.

The court therefore directed the Respondents to pay to the complainants a total amount of Rs. 25, 00,000 with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of SCDRC order as compensation.

By Dr Prem Lata 

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