The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Thursday said that a doctor cannot be booked or prosecuted for not administering any medicines that are unavailable. The bench said that prosecuting doctors in such cases would amount to nothing but harassment.
The bench was seized with a PIL filed by Dr Rajiv Joshi, a Pune resident highlighting the instances where in doctors are assaulted by the kin of patients.
During the hearing, the judges were informed about an incident wherein a doctor was booked for not administering Remdesivir to a patient.
The counsel argued that the doctor cannot be booked like this because there was a shortage of the drug at the relevant time. "When the drug isn't available how can the doctor administer that medicine?" the counsel argued.
Agreeing with the submissions, CJ Datta said, "No doctor can be booked for not administering medicines that are unavailable in the market. The doctor cannot be faulted for this."
"This might amount to harassment. At present we need to protect the doctors and not book them like this," the bench added.
Accordingly, the chief justice ordered advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to assist the court on the next hearing on how to protect the doctors. "We won't stand in between genuine cases. But we can't see cases in which doctors are booked for no fault of theirs," CJ Datta said.