Bulbul case: police file chargesheet against 5 | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Bulbul case: police file chargesheet against 5

chandigarh Updated: Apr 13, 2012 13:37 IST
HT Live Correspondent

In the Bulbul case, in which a poor woman was forced to move about in GMSH-16 gynaecology ward during labour pains and had to deliver the baby near the OPD counter, who later died, the UT police on Thursday filed a 997-page chargesheet against five accused, including the head of department of gynaecology and a paediatric surgeon of GMSH-16.

The police had filed the chargesheet against Dr Veena Sarna, HoD (gynaecology); Dr Deepak Thakur, paediatrics surgeon; Maya Devi, security guard; Parkash Rani, ward servant and Dharma Devi, OPD attendant.

In the chargesheet filed in the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Rajesh Garg, the police have charged the accused under Section 304A (causing death by negligence), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information) and 465 (forgery) of the IPC.

On July 21, 2010, Bulbul, a poor woman from Bihar, during her labour pains, was forced to deliver the child while she was standing in the queue waiting for medical attention at the OPD counter of GMSH-16 gynaecology ward. The child died soon after her head hit the floor. The doctors had claimed that the child was stillborn.

Surprisingly, an inquiry conducted by GMSH-16 officials termed the incident as an outcome of a 'technical and system failure'. However, the UT administration had asked the legal remembrancer (LR) to ascertain the criminal liability of each and every doctor and medical staff member in the incident, on the plea that the report was 'sketchy with gaping holes'.

The preliminary post-mortem report of the baby had mentioned a blood clot in her head while the report of the histopathology test confirmed that the baby was born alive.

On September 9, 2010, the legal remembrancer prepared a foolproof case against those indicted by the committee, comprising ADC PS Shergill and GMSH director-principal Raj Bahadur. The panel had reportedly pinpointed "criminal negligence" on part of the hospital's medical staff and the doctors.

Role of the accused in the case
Dr Veena Sarna,
HoD (gynaecology)

Criminal case for negligence and destruction of evidence.

She has been indicted of perpetuating a system of authorising Group-D employees to prescribe investigations and block the accessibility of the doctors to patients besides not monitoring the life-saving processes in the labour room, which was responsible for causing death of Bulbul's baby.

Dr Sarna visited Room No 151 and told pharmacist Jagjit Kaur to change the time on the card, but Kaur refused. The inquiry committee even recommended the initiation of criminal proceedings against Dr Sarna and Dharma Devi for destroying material facts, including the registration card of Bulbul.

It came to light that lab technician Kanchan handed over the card to Dharma Devi. The original treatment card of Bulbul could not be traced thereafter, and it can well be presumed that both Dharma Devi and Dr Sarna destroyed the card to save their skin.

Dr Deepak Thakur,
paediatrics surgeon

Criminal case for causing death due to medical negligence and another charge of tampering with records amounting to forgery.

Dr Thakur took two minutes to make up the story of Intra Uterine Death (IUD), which has been falsified from the post-mortem and histopathology reports, wherein it was confirmed that the child was born alive and had died on account of head injury.

The other doctor - Dr Rita Gaba - became nervous after seeing the condition of the baby. Dr Vandna left the baby in the labour room and came outside to call Dr Thakur. The three did not provide standardised medical treatment to the baby, which led to the death.

Besides, Dr Thakur tampered with the original admission file of Bulbul by altering the time of declaring the death of the baby. Besides, the card of Bulbul was also destroyed.

Maya Devi (security guard); Parkash Rani (ward servant); Dharma Devi (OPD attendant)

Criminal case for gross criminal negligence.

Instead of rendering timely help to the woman, the three made her move from one counter to another - a dangerous situation for both mother and child. It was a reckless negligence on part of the three, which led to the mishap. Had they acted with caution, the life of the newborn could have been saved.

They deliberately blocked Bulbul's way to get her examined in the labour room. Had Bulbul been allowed to stay in the room, the newborn could have been saved.