Dr A K Manocha saw Naik Subedar K L Gulyani bleeding right outside his clinic but he just turned back and closed his clinic. The army man later succumbed to his injuries.
The Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, which issued the first of its kind order, termed Dr Manocha’s conduct “cruel” and said “he failed in his duty as a doctor”.
In 2006, Naik Subedar Gulyani was attacked onboard a bus by a pickpocket and sustained knife wounds on his right thigh. He managed to get down but collapsed outside Manocha’s hospital in Janakpuri.
The commission was hearing Dr Manocha’s appeal against a 2008 lower forum order asking him to pay a compensation of Rs 3 lakh to Gulyani’s widow.
From the evidence on record, the commission found that the doctor came out, saw the profusely bleeding man and went back into his clinic. The statement of his widow Savita before the court on the doctor’s callousness was supported by a couple who had visited him for consultation.
This couple had taken Guliyani to the adjacent Orchid Hospital where he was declared brought dead.
The Bench headed by Justice Barkat Ali Zaidi said: “Instead of moving the injured to hospital, he went back and closed doors of the clinic. It is not possible to say that a doctor would not have realised the gravity of the situation and not foreseen that continuous bleeding will result in death. The callous indifference of the doctor needs to be denounced in no uncertain terms.”
The forum did not take lightly the doctor’s contention that he was a “private doctor” and had no obligation to treat a person lying outside his clinic.
Justice Zaidi turned down the argument that the amount was excessive and said “no amount of compensation is adequate where a life is lost”.