Decided on October 29,2007

UMA KUMAR Appellant


- (1.) WRIT petition no. 6109/2000 was argued at considerable length by Ms. Palli before the same was withdrawn with liberty to the petitioner to file an appropriate petition before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission for appropriate relief in accordance with law. What is significant is that the withdrawal was made in the presence of the petitioner as is evident from a reading of the order passed by this Court. In the present review petition seeking recall of the said order, the petitioner has, no doubt, tried to assert that the withdrawal made by her counsel was without her (the petitioner's)instructions but keeping in view the circumstances in which the withdrawal was made and the fact that the petitioner was present in the Court in person when the order of dismissal was passed based on the statement of Ms. Palli, we are not inclined to give any credence to her version. It is noteworthy that there is no assertion in the review petition nor has any affidavit been filed by Ms. Rekha Palli, counsel earlier appearing for the petitioner that she had not withdrawn the writ petition. In the circumstances, there is no room for any review of the order dismissing the petition as withdrawn.
(2.) LEARNED counsel for the petitioner all the same argued that since the writ petition has been filed in public interest and had remained pending for considerable period, this Court could resume the proceedings by recalling the order of dismissal, no matter the same was passed at the instance of the petitioner. He submitted that the petition brings into focus certain malpractices which the respondent hospital is indulging in to the prejudice of the general public and that such malpractices can be checked and corrected only if this Court were to take these proceedings to their logical conclusion.
(3.) IT is true that the petition had remained pending for some years in this Court during which period some interim orders were also made but a reading of the order dated 11th August, 2006 would show that the question of maintainability of the petition was left open, to be examined at an appropriate stage. None of the orders passed by this Court shows that the writ petition was thereafter held to be maintainable especially when the hospital alleged that the same was meant to wreak personal vengeance. It is common ground that the petitioner had lost her mother, while the latter was admitted as an indoor patient in the hospital. That being so the fact that the petitioner has not demanded any compensation from the hospital for the alleged medical negligence resulting in the death of her mother, makes little difference. The fact remains that the present proceedings initiated in public interest have the flavour of a personal bitterness and history between the petitioner and the hospital. We do not wish to dilate on this aspect any further. All that we need say is that even If the allegation made by the petitioner regarding the hospital indulging in malpractices is taken to be correct, we see no reason why the petitioner cannot even without claiming compensation as one of the reliefs, approach the Commission for a suitable direction to correct its procedures and practices. As a matter of fact, proceedings before the Commission may be more appropriate having regard to the fact that the Commission can record evidence on the issues raised by the petitioner which involve disputed questions of fact. This Court cannot, in its extraordinary jurisdiction, embark upon an inquiry involving investigation into disputed questions of fact. We must say to the credit of Ms. Palli, that she had appreciated this aspect when it was pointed out to her on 8th October, 2007, resulting in the withdrawal of the petition by her.;

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