Q n A Legal Desk

1. Anil Ramchanra Panat from Pune 

Question: Whether it is right in making Branch Manager and MD of Unity Small Finance Bank Ltd a party to the dispute before  the Consumer Commission in their individual capacity?

Answer: In cases of suits/claims/complaints filed by the corporate, authorities or units, they are to be filed through name and person authorized by the authority. The order if passed for compliance ,some live person is to be made responsible through whom case is filed or contested. 

Relevant Case Law  H.K. Singla vs. Avtar Singh Saini & Ors. Decided On 14th December 2018

H.K. Singla vs. Avtar Singh Saini & Ors. Decided On 14th December 2018 who had filed a complaint against secretary Chandigarh State Bank of Patiala Employees Co-operative USE Thrift & Credit Society, claiming maturity amount along with interest on his deposit with the Society

Supreme Court as the case H.K. Singla Vs. Avtar Singh Saini & Ors.[Civil Appeal No. 11969 of 2018 Decided On 14th December 2018 

  1. District court in its order fixed the liability of secretary, Chandigarh State Bank of Patiala Employees Co-operative USE Thrift & Credit Society, to repay the deposited amount with interest to the complainant but did not make secretary liable in his individual capacity. Hence he could not be imprisoned under section 27 of the act in the absence of he made party by name or on behalf of society fixing personal liability.

2. Ramprakash Tiwari from Jabalpur 

Question :Whether nursing home can refuse medical information of patient to him?

Answer: Mandatory and bound to provide all information related medical treatment,status and other related issues 

Case Law Jothi against State ,Department of Health and Family Welfare & others

Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India filed by one Jothi against State ,Department of Health and Family Welfare & others Represented by the Secretary, before The Madurai Bench Of Madras High Court Decided On decided on 31.07.2023 praying to issue a Writ of Mandamus, directing the respondents1 to 4 to take appropriate action upon the respondents for their negligent act incurring death to a new born child of the petitioner

While deciding the allegation of not providing information to patient ,Court held :

“When a patient enters a government hospital, he or she is examined first. The symptoms are recorded. The condition is noted.Scan or X-ray is taken. A diagnosis is made. Treatment is prescribed.Medicines (if available!!) are given. Every stage will have to be contemporaneously and accurately recorded. In the case of inpatients, discharge summary should contain all the relevant particulars. We have moved into the digital age. It should therefore not be difficult to store all the information in the digital mode. A patient is entitled to be furnished all the relevant records pertaining to his or her treatment.This right can be effectuated only if the information is stored digitally.Proper maintenance of record is an integral part of the medicalservices.

3. Sachin Kumar Singh Siliguri 

Question: Negligence by School (Sri Sri Academy) son Krishna Singh  got injured while dancing in the academy run by Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir Foundation. The watchman took him to third floor rest room dragging him physically. I got call 2 hrs later after the incident and they took more 3 hrs for arranging a vehicle for the nursing home. Owner of the school earlier said he will share me video of the incident but later refused stating that staff of IT department went on leave for 7 days. I brought my son to Max Super speciality hospital Delhi and s still in ICU under treatment. Can I file case against the school? My son is suffering from traumatic Condition Trasverse Myelities with GBS.

Answer : You can file case of deficiency in services against school for delaying information which caused more damage than it could be if brought immediately. Painful thing that he was not attended with care and left to mercy of god by sending to rest room. 

Merit of the case depends on the fact whether diagnosed disease was pre-existing, known or not known to you.

Student is a consumer as per Supreme court three judges Bench in the case of Osmania Islamic Academy v / s State of Karnataka, three judges bench comprising Justice V N Khare, Justice S N Variyavaha and Chief Justice K G Blaakrishnana pronounced a detailed order on 14.8.2003 held that education is a service by discussing every aspect covered by the educational institute in providing education to the students.

Following this order, again there was Supreme Court ruling in the year 2009 in the matter of Bhupesh Khurana v Buddha Dental College & hospital Judgment dated on 13 February, 2009 Civil Appeal No.1135 of 2001  holding college unfair for their misleading information about the college

SC again in Civil Appeal No 3504 of 2020 (Manu Solanki and Others vs Vinayaka Mission University), the issue as to whether education is a service within the Consumer Protection Act, is pending before the Supreme Court.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee ,  Civil Appeal No 3504 of 2020 (Manu Solanki and Others vs Vinayaka Mission University), has admitted an appeal filed by Manu Solanki and other students of a medical course against Vinayaka Mission University at Salem in Tamil Nadu, alleging deficiency in services.
“Since there are divergent views of this Court bearing on the subject as to whether an educational institution or University would be subject to the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 1986, the appeal would require admission. Admit,” 

4. Ghasiram Bag Noupada ,Odisha 

Question: Can I go to the Consumer forum against Government Hospital along with private hospital?

Answer: You are a consumer under consumer protection act if paid money for the services hired. Government hospitals generally give free services but in case they are having some private rooms or charging from some but have not charged from you ,you become a consumer.

V.Shantha V/S Indian medical association 1995 SC set the criteria –

  • Private Hospitals. Private Nursing homes are service providers when they charge from patient and you are a consumer 
  • Charitable clinics /hospital also are run by some persons other than you  donating funds ,hence are service providers and you are a consumer 
  • When your fee is paid by your employer or insurance but not by you, you are a consumer 
  • When Govt hospital run with the funds of govt and doctors are employees, you are not a consumer .
  • When Govt. hospital is run by Govt but some private arrangement separately done and services are given by charging fee ,you are a consumer even when you have not paid any thing  

Dr Hema, Dr Sulekha Dr Sethunath v/s S.Jayan & Others .11(2016) CPJ 306 NC National Commission has held that complainant do not fall within purview of consumer under Consumer Protection Act. Here was the question of making payment for the services hired and a Government hospital SAT Hospital not charging from the patients ,hence are not rendering services to the consumers under Consumer Protection Act. In this case, Sat Hospital is a Govt. Hospital, who had not charged from the patient and had not been charging from any other patient for the treatment .A Child Patient was brought to the causality on 11.10.2000, was kept in ICU. After one week from admission, surgery was conducted at the left hand and ultimately resulted into amputation of a portion of left forearm. It was alleged that post operation care was not given to the child as the child developed gangrene due to the negligence of the doctors .

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