A Delhi court has convicted four persons for assaulting doctors and damaging a government hospital property after one of their relatives was declared brought dead by them, observing that such incidents caused doctors and other staff to proceed on strikes demanding secure work environment.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Pawan Singh Rajawat sentenced Bablu, Imran, Nuru and Rashid to six months in jail for the offences under section 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 427 (damage to public property by mischief) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
"The convicts by causing obstruction to the public servants in discharging their duty of attending to the patients in casualty have caused danger to the life of the patients who require immediate attention of the doctors and other staff in the casualty.
"Moreover, the damaged to the defibrillator machine has not only caused to financial loss to the hospital but also resulted into the denial of use of said machine for treatment of the patients as defibrillator machine is a life saving device," the court said in a recent order.
According to the prosecution, in July 2007, one patient was brought to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) Hospital after being referred from Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital (BJRM) hospital.
The doctors at the LNJP Hospital declared him dead on arrival. Following this, the relatives along with 20 other persons started arguing with the two attending doctors, assaulted them and damaged the defibrillator machine.
The duty constable was called along with security staff and the situation was brought under control. A case was registered on the complaint of the chief medical officer of the hospital. During the trial, the accused claimed they have been falsely implicated and pleaded innocence.
"The act of the convicts does not deserve any leniency as it has been seen that many times the relatives of patients admitted to hospitals for treatment attacked doctors and the property of hospital which caused irreparable disruption in medical services," the court said.
It addded that in recent past, many times such incidents have caused doctors and other staff to proceed on strikes demanding better secured environment for "enabling them to discharge their primary function of providing best medical care to the patients admitted in the hospital".
The court said that by misbehaving with the staff and doctors, shouting and pushing the staff members and also by damaging the property of the hospital including a defibrillator machine, the accused have voluntarily obstructed the public servants from discharging their public duty as authorized by law.
It said there are sufficient indications of voluntarily obstruction as force has been used against the doctors and staff on duty by the accused persons while doctors and other staff were discharging their public duty being employees of LNJP Hospital which is government hospital.
The damage to the machine also point towards the intention of accused persons in deterring the doctors and other staff on duty in discharging their public duty, it said.
During the trial, a former employee of the hospital had told the court that the defibrillator machine was purchased for over Rs 1.17 lakh.