The court of additional chief judicial magistrate Parminder Singh Rai has awarded rigorous imprisonment (RI) of two years to Dr Harsharan Kaur, a leading doctor at a private hospital, in a 20-year-old case pertaining to death of Balwinder Kumar, a student of B Pharmacy, due to negligence in kidney transplant.
She has also been fined Rs 5,000.
A case was registered at the Civil Lines police station under Sections 304-A, 383 and 384 of the IPC.
According to the court judgment, the accused did not conduct an HIV test while transplanting Balwinder’s kidney and was negligent in dealing with the case. This led to Balwinder’s death, not amounting to culpable homicide, and also put his father Mehar Chand in fear and dishonestly induced him to deliver Rs 30,000 and engage one Jagmohan for donating his kidney to Balwinder, who died on March 18, 1993, due to a defective kidney.
According to the judgment, the victim fell sick and was taken to the PGI, Chandigarh, in November 1990. The doctors found that his kidneys were not functioning properly. On their advice, Balwinder’s kidney was replaced on April 16, 1991.
As indicated by the court judgment, the kidney was donated by the mother of Balwinder, who remained fine for a year, but again developed complications following which he was taken to a private hospital on April 4, 1992. He was examined by Dr Harsharan Kaur, who said he required blood and three bottles of blood were administered to him.
Balwinder was discharged four days later and remained under the treatment of Dr Kaur, who started his dialysis from May 2, 1992 saying his kidneys were damaged and needed replacement. She also took the responsibility for arranging a donor, says the court judgment.
The court judgment states that on August 6, 1992, she directed them to go to Dr Varinder Gupta in Delhi, who sent one Jagmohan with them for donating his kidney to Balwinder after going through the report of Dr Kaur. On the advice of Dr Kaur, they gave Rs 20,000 to Dr Gupta for arranging the donor.
As per the judgment, Jagmohan came to Amritsar with them and was examined and given the required treatment by Dr Kaur. He was declared fit to donate his kidney on August 22, 1992. The kidney was donated to Balwinder on August 26, 1992. Mehar Chand, father of Balwinder Kumar, paid Rs 30,000 to Dr Kaur for payment to Jagmohan.
The judgment says Balwinder was discharged after 20 days and used to visit Dr Kaur every week for follow-up. He took treatment from Dr Kaur for six months during which he was admitted to the hospital four times. On February 24, 1993, he was again taken to the PGI, where they were told that Balwinder was suffering from AIDS. He died on March 18, 1993.