Create disciplinary board to initiate action against doctors, TNMC told

The Madras High Court on Tuesday issued a set of guidelines to be implemented under the newly formed National Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019, to make it a standard operating procedure (SOP) for the effective handling of complaints to prevent unwanted allegations against the medical board.
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

Chennai

Justice R Mahadevan issued the direction while hearing a petition by Dr P Basumani challenging the Tamil Nadu Medical Council’s decision to remove him name from its register for six months. Noting that the petitioner was neither informed properly about the charges nor was any explanation given to him, the judge quashed the council’s order. The decision of the disciplinary committee, a quasi-judicial authority, to recommend the punitive measure without any complaint and without providing him an opportunity was unjustified and was liable to set aside, Justice Mahadevan said.
“The code/regulations should enunciate the duties bestowed by law on a registered medical practitioner. Complete stage-wise guidelines are to be envisaged, from the time of filing of the complaint to the registration of complaint with the concerned medical council, and the procedure to be followed thereafter,” the judge said.
The State Medical Council should create a disciplinary board to initiate action against registered medical practitioners for professional misconduct, the judge said. “The disciplinary board will have to a permanent tenure, a fixed three-member body that will function as the disciplinary authority,” he added.
The petition pertains to an alleged false fitness certificate issued by Radhakrishnan, a Coimbatore based doctor, on May 8, 2015, stating that a patient N Pitchumani was in good health. Based on this, several of the patient’s properties were registered in the name of Radhakrishnan’s son-in-law.
After Pitchumani’s daughter lodged a complaint, the Central Crime Branch, Chennai, summoned the medical superintendent of a private hospital where he had actually undergone treatment. The hospital management gave a report stating that Pitchumani was conscious on May 8, Dr Basumani who treated the patient in the hospital gave a contrary report to the medical council.
The council removed Basumani’s name from the registry for not ensuring that the medical superintendent submitted a factual reply.

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