FIR filed under CrPC 156(3) against doctors at Bhandari Childrens Hospital and GBH American, Udaipur

FIR filed under CrPC 156(3) against doctors at Bhandari Childrens Hospital and GBH American, Udaipur

Allegations include negligence, fraud, causing voluntary hurt and wrongful restraint. Complainant and lawyer say that Section 156(3) of CrPC was resorted to as police was failing in its task to conduct a fair investigation.
FIR filed under CrPC 156(3) against doctors at Bhandari Childrens Hospital and GBH American, Udaipur
  • Healthy Infant dies within 48hrs of birth
  • Police refuse to entertain FIR against doctors - complainant claims

Kushal Suhalka, resident of Udaipur, has filed an FIR through his lawyer Yogendra Veer Singh under CrPC 156(3) against five doctors of two private hospitals in Udaipur. The allegations fall under negligence, cheating, wrongful restraint, which resulted in the death of the complainant’s new born daughter within 48hrs of birth and causing hurt voluntarily.

The FIR filed on September 12 alleges offences under Section 323, 341 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code. Doctors named in the FIR include Dr Bhagwati Lal Bhandari and Dr Harith Bhandari from Bhandari Bal Chikitsalaya, Udaipur and Dr Shilpa Goyal, Dr Anup Paliwal and Dr Dev Kothari from GBH American Hospital, Udaipur.

Sequence of events that led to the death of Kushal’s new born daughter

17 February 2020

Kushal’s wife was consulting Dr Shilpa Goyal, who is employed with GBH American Hospital, Udaipur, for her pregnancy. On 17 February, when his wife began complaining of labour pain, Kushal took her to Dr Shilpa Goyal at GBH American Hospital, where the family was told that it is a regular gastric pain and there is still 8-10 days left to delivery. The family returned home and despite medication, the pain continued. When his Kushal’s wife noticed bleeding in the morning, he immediately took her to Dr Shilpa Goyal, who suggested that the lady be kept under observation.

18 February 2020

5pm: Dr Shilpa Goyal recommended immediate delivery through caesarian, which the family approved.

6pm: The operation commenced at 6pm on 18 February and a seemingly healthy baby girl was delivered at 6:30pm. At the time of birth, the weight of the baby was 3kg150gm, which is considered healthy.

8pm: Baby is handed over to the family by the nursing staff. The family observed that the baby was not crying and informed the same to the nursing staff, who said that it is normal and that in case the legs begin to turn blue, they should immediately inform the nursing staff. Within 5 minutes of the baby being handed over, the legs began to turn blue and Kushal informed the nursing staff who took the baby back under observation for an hour.

9pm: After one hour, when the baby was not returned and the family enquired, they were asked to visit the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) as their daughter has been shifted to NICU for observation and treatment. The reason for shifting to NICU was not informed and the family was asked to deposit Rs 10,000, the fee for NICU. When the family insisted on the reason, the nursing staff informed the doctor.

Concent letter basis of which baby was shifter to NICU in GBH without approval

1030pm: Dr Anup Paliwal, the other consulting pediatrician at GBH came to hospital at 1030pm, which is 4hrs after the baby was born and nearly 2 hours after she was shifted to NICU. Dr Paliwal informed Kushal that the baby was breathing heavily and an Echo Cardiogram needed to be conducted and that GBH was not equipped to carry out the test in the evening hours. Dr Anup suggested that the baby be taken to Bhandari Children Hospital (Bhandari Bal Chikitsalay) at Bhupalpura, who are better equipped with their NICU and the Echo can be done there in the night hours.

1130pm: After paying the relevant charges to GBH, the family shifted the new born to Bhandari Children’s Hospital. When the family reached Bhandari hospital, the doctor was not present; the nursing staff admitted the baby into NICU and the baby was kept under observation.

Final Bill paid to GBH before shifting to Bhandair Children Hospital

19 February 2020

10am: Dr Harith Bhandari arrives at the hospital and suggested that tests be conducted on the child, including the Echo, which was recommended by GBH. Rs 7,700 were paid towards the test and the family was informed that the reports will be made available at 1pm on the same day.

List of reports recommended by Bhandari Children Hospital (Check - ECHO)

230pm: Reports were given to the family and the apprehensive family went to the senior doctor Dr BL Bhandari and requested why the family was not being informed of the condition of the baby as it was nearly 14 hours that the baby was in the NICU and entry to the ward was prohibited. The family made all the payments but could not get details of the condition of the infant and the treatment that was being provided.

Bill of tests to be conducted as per above recommendation

Subsequent to this interaction, Kushal shared the reports with his sister in Jaipur over WhatsApp and he was informed that the reports did not include the Echo. Kushal sent the receipt to his sister and the receipt mentioned Echo, but the report was missing. Kushal insisted with the hospital to conduct the Echo, the main reason for which the family had moved the baby from GBH to Bhandari hospital. The nursing and administrative staff asked the family to consult the doctor, who had by then left. The administrative staff informed the family that the Echo was not being done and that Dr Bhandari had asked for the money taken towards the Echo to be refunded to the family. This resulted in an altercation between the family members and the hospital staff.

Money deposited with Bhandari Childrens Hospital

Kushal and the family then decided to consult Dr Lakhan Poswal, who recommended that the infant be admitted to MB General Hospital.

20 February 2020

After 14 hours of being under ventilator, the infant expired. The family was informed by staff at MB General Hospital that due to delay in delivery, fluids has entered the lungs of the infant, causing heavy breathing and the pressure also caused damaged to other sensitive parts of the head, resulting in death. The exasperated family went to GBH, where the doctors refused to accept that there had been a fault at their end.

Why was the FIR filed under CrPC 156(3)

On 19 February, after admitting the infant in MB General Hospital, Udaipur, the irate father, Kushal filed a report with the Bhupalpura police station. There was no investigation done by the police and as per Kushal, the police said that no reports can be filed against doctors or hospitals, a claim that Yogendra Singh, the lawyer of the complainant refutes. As per the law, the police is supposed to register the complaint and investigate.

July 2020

Subsequent to these happenings, the lockdown occurred and all facilities were shut indefinitely. When courts opened in July 2020, the family went to register a case, but the court refused to entertain new cases due to pendency and lockdown conditions.

August 2020

In the last week of August, when new cases were being entertained, the family, through the lawyer, filed and FIR with the Superintendent of Police. The SP directed Hathipol police station to look into the matter. Hathipol police interrogated the family, but there was no proceedings to investigations.

September 2020

As a last resort, the family decided to invoke an FIR through the courts under CrPC 156(3) and the FIR was filed and sent to the police station for necessary action and investigations.

UT spoke to the Kushal’s lawyer, Yogendra Veer Singh, who said that since the police was not entertaining their complaints, they were forced to file the FIR under CrPC section 156(3).

In the FIR filed through court, the complainant has accused the five mentioned doctors of negligence, fraud, wrongful restraint and voluntarily causing hurt.

The above details are as per the FIR and UdaipurTimes' interaction with the complainant Kushal Suhalka and verified by his lawyer Yogendra Veer Singh. Images of documents have been provided by Kushal Suhalka the complainant.

Dr Harit Bhandari, from Bhandari Children's Hospital, Udaipur has clarified their part of the sequence of events:
Newborn baby was brought to us for respiratory difficulty. Baby was treated according to protocols. During rounds in the morning of 19 February, various investigations were planned and few were in process. After discussions with family members it was decided to shift baby to MB General Hospital on their request, not ours. Before all the tests could be performed, baby was transferred safely to General Hospital. Since a test (referring to Echo) was not performed, the amount was refunded at time of discharge, which family refused and misbehaved with staff, which we accepted as emotions are high and everyone's ultimate goal is to save the baby. We are running our hospital for last 25 years and do have a fair reputation.

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