Delhi HC notice to NDMC as deceased girl's father alleges negligence by empanelled hospital demands blacklisting

    New Delhi, May 12 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has sought a response from the New Delhi Municipal Council on the petition of a man who has demanded blacklisting of an NDMC-empanelled hospital alleging that its "gross negligence" led to the death of his 10-year-old daughter in 2011.
     The NDMC had terminated the contract with the particular branch of the hospital after the incident, but petitioner Pramod Kumar Chaudhary, a class IV employee of the Council, demanded the NDMC dis-empanel all the branches as there is no provision in the agreement to terminate the contract of just one branch.
    Chaudhary has also asked for criminal action against one of its former directors who allegedly tried to side with the hospital and help close the criminal case against them.
    All the branches of the hospital are on the Council's panel.
    On October 21, 2011, Chaudhary admitted his daughter Ritu Kumari to the Pandav Nagar branch of RLKC Metro Hospital and Heart Institute in West Delhi for treatment of dengue fever.
     He alleged she didn't get proper care and she had to be shifted to ICU where she was administered heavy doses of antibiotics prohibited by the World Health Organization (WHO) for patients suffering from dengue fever.
    She turned critical and was shifted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital where she passed away on October 26, 2011, he said.
     An internal enquiry by the NDMC established malpractice and negligence on the part of hospital after which an FIR was lodged in 2014 on the complaint of the then Director (Welfare) OP Mishra.
     Chaudhary alleged the police "didn't do a proper investigation" and filed for a closure before the concerned court. Mishra, who had retired in 2015, appeared in the court and didn't oppose the closure.
     The complainant alleged was kept in the dark all these while.
    When the case was closed, he approached the Delhi chief minister's office which constituted a four-member expert committee under Health and Family Welfare secretary to probe the death.
     The committee found negligence on part of the hospital and observed that the use of the prohibited drugs such as Voveron (Injection) and Aziwok (tab) on the child could have led to her death.
     Chaudhary has said in his petition before the high court that when he made further inquiries, he was surprised to find out that the medic who had treated his daughter was not even a qualified doctor but an impersonator whose medical registration details were found to be vitiated by fraud and impersonation.
     After accessing these information, Chaudhary filed a criminal complaint based on which a fresh FIR was lodged in 2017 against the accused branch of hospital and the treating doctors.
     Chaudhary has said the police filed the charge sheet in the case and the matter is being heard by the Metropolitan Magistrate. But the NDMC "during the entire course of investigation and issuance of summons by the Ld. Magistrate chose to remain a passive onlooker and totally failed to assist the investigation in any manner", he alleged.
    "It is the respectful submission of the Petitioner that the total abnegation of duty and moral responsibility by the Respondent NDMC towards one of its Class IV employee was totally reprehensible," he said in his petition.
     He added, "The Petitioner was left on his own to fight a powerful, influential corporate hospital that has been acting in connivance and collusion with his own employer."
     Chaudhary has also criticised the Delhi Medical Council for exonerating the hospital and its doctors in 2013 of any negligence in treatment.
     He claimed he has been under immense financial pressure, having fought an expensive legal battle. He requested the court to direct the NDMC to reimburse Rs 25 lakhs towards financial aid towards his long-drawn litigation that he has been fighting single handedly.
     To stop the recurrence of such incidents, he has also demanded that the offending hospital display on its website and at conspicuous places of its hospitals, the photo identity of all its doctors along with their DMC registration number; qualification certificate and competence to practice a particular branch of medical science.
     "An inquiry should be investigated as to how many other such doctors without the requisite qualifications and without the due registrations, are employed by the offending hospital," he demanded in his petition.
     The Bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh issued a notice on April 28 to the NDMC, Directorate General of Health Services of the Delhi Government and RLKC Metro Hospital and directed them to file their replies within eight weeks.

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from PTI)