Decided on December 09,1998

Calcutta Medical Research Institute Appellant
Bimalesh Chatterjee Respondents


J.K.MEHRA, J. - (1.) THIS appeal arises out of a decision by the West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission whereby the State Commission has awarded, inter alia, the following sums : "Accordingly the complaint petition succeeds on contest: We direct the Insurance Company to pay Rs. 42,225 / - towards the medical expenses admissible under the Mediclaim Policy and also a compensation of Rs. 10,000/ - towards harassment, torture and mental agony suffered by the complainant/ petitioner. We further award a compensation of Rs. 2,00,000/ - to be paid by the Calcutta Medical Research Institute, opposite party No. 3 in this case for their negligence and deficiency in service by transfusing wrong group of blood to the complainant/ petitioner. Considering the facts and circumstances of the case we do not award any cost of the proceeding. The Insurance Company and Calcutta. Medical Research Institute would pay the respective awarded sums as aforesaid to the petitioner/complainant within 30 days from the date of communication of this order."
(2.) WE upheld the above order to the extent it concerns the Insurance Company and have dismissed the appeal by the Insurance Company and accordingly uphold the impugned order to the extent it affects the Insurance Company. We have heard at length arguments on both sides with regard to the amount of compensation of Rs. 2.00 lakhs to be paid by the Calcutta Medical Institute, the appellant in the present case. The amount appears to have been awarded for negligence and deficiency in service in transfusing blood of wrong group to the complainant -respondent No. 1 before us. We find that reliance has been placed by the State Commission on a certificate issued by Dr. Sukumar Mukherjea who is neither the haemotologist nor a pathologist His opinion lacks in all requisite technical details and is absolutely vague He does not mention the blood group of either the donee or the donor. This doctor who is only an MB (Calcutta) and ex Senior House Surgeon, Calcutta Medical College Hospital, has no specialist qualification. He has talked of the blood picture without mentioning any detail thereof nor does he talk of having had a look at any blood picture. A patient is considered fit for kidney transplantation only when he has readied a critical stage and that stage is confirmed by the certificate issued by Woodlands Nursing Home which apart from giving estimate of the cost of the treatment and surgery also states the following: "This is to certify that Mr. Bimalesh Chatterjee,33 years, 132 -A, Charu Chandra Place East, Calcutta -33 is suffering from End Stage Renal Disease, and is undergoing Maintenance Haemodialysis in this centre. He has been advised to undergo a Renal Transplantation as a definitive form of treatment. This form of treatment is of a rather prolonged nature, and entails considerable expenses. An approximate estimate of the anticipated expenditure is given herewith......." (Emphasis supplied)
(3.) THUS it is clear from this certificate that the patient was already suffering from end stage renal disease and was undergoing maintenance haemodialysis which means he was already critical even in June, 1993. Further the complainant has filed documents which are completely lacking in the essential technical details. We also find that the said patient ultimately died on 23rd July, 1997 which means he survived for four years after the treatment complained of. No evidence has been brought on record to link the blood transfusion with any of the resultant complications in the case. Nor has any evidence been led which would go to show the hospital/appellant or any of its doctors had been negligent. In the absence of such evidence it cannot be held that the appellant or its doctors were guilty of any negligence or deficiency in service. The onus of proving negligence and resultant deficiency in service was clearly on the complainant which onus has not been discharged. In that view of the matter, the impugned order qua this appellant cannot be sustained and is hereby set aside. The result is mat the appeal is accepted to the extent of the finding and the relief granted in the impugned order against the appellant and the impugned order to that extent is set aside. Rest of the order which is against the Insurance Company is upheld. In the facts and circumstances of the case, there will be no order as to costs. Appeal Partly allowed.;

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