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Death of MLA's kin: Varying reports put health dept in a fix

india Updated: May 23, 2013 01:03 IST
HT Correspondent

Health minister Shabir Ahmed Khan has issued directions to commissioner and secretary, health and medical education, to examine both departmental and magisterial enquiry reports on the death of an MLA' s relative in Rajouri hospital and take action accordingly.

Shariq Shadab, relative of Darhal MLA Choudhary Zulfikar, died on the operation table while undergoing 'septoplasty' on May 1.

Rajouri district development commissioner FC Bhagat ordered a magisterial enquiry by additional district magistrate SD Singh after Zulfikar and family members alleged negligence on part of doctors, including anesthetist Dr Bashir Khan, brother of health minister.

Meanwhile, on the directions of the health minister, director health services, Jammu, Madhu Khullar, also initiated a departmental inquiry by a team of four senior doctors led by deputy director Dr Ved Parksh Sharma.

In magisterial enquiry report, pointing out deficiency in the working of the district hospital, concluded that "the doctors have accepted that in most probability the patient died of medicine/drugs administrated during operation and it can either by reaction of drugs, overdose or mere suppression of heart movement because of anesthesia. However, there is a possibility that the patient might have died due to reaction caused by anesthesia with food present in the stomach."

However, the doctors and paramedical staff of the district hospital rejected the magisterial report on the grounds that the persons in the probe team (DSP headquarters and the ADM) were not technically qualified. Also, health employees observed strike in all the hospitals in favour of doctors.

The departmental enquiry report gave clean chit to doctors in question and said every precaution and required medication was observed by the ENT surgeon and anesthetist during and before the operation.

Dr Vijay and Dr Bashir Khan had said the patient died due to sudden cardiac arrest and every possible attempt was made to save his life.

Police had also started inquest proceedings under section174 of the CrPC. Reacting to the "clean chit "given to the doctors in the departmental enquiry, the Darhal MLA said: "It was just an eyewash and attempt to save the brother of the health minister. The probe panel lead by Dr Ved Sharma had made mockery of the system and issued report totally in contradiction to the magisterial inquiry report."

He demanded registration of an FIR against the doctors, as the magisterial enquiry had held them responsible for the death of the Shariq Shahdab.

On the allegations that the health minister had tried to save his brother by giving clean chit in the departmental probe, the health minister said: "On May 1, the Darhal MLA contacted me and informed about the incident. I, on the MLA's request, immediately ordered a departmental enquiry."

He added that commissioner/secretary health and medical education had been directed to take action under law after examining both the reports. Meanwhile MLA Ch Zulfikar has warned to move court if the government failed to take any action during next few days. He also warned to launch district-level agitation.