New Delhi: District and State Consumer Forums have no power to recall their orders once they dismiss a complaint as the power is vested only with the National
Consumer Redressal Commission, the Supreme Court has ruled.
A three-judge bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari, Mukundakam Sharma and Anil R. Dave passed the ruling upholding an appeal filed by a doctor challenging the complaint entertained by the Maharashtra State Commission in a case of alleged medical negligence, which led to the death of a woman.
Smita Achyut Karekar died after a surgery for slip disc at a private hospital on October 10, 1997.
The State Commission had issued a notice to the doctor Hitendra Pathak on a compensation claim of Rs 15 lakh sought by family members of the deceased. The Commission subsequently dismissed the case as the family reportedly failed to pursue the case.
However, the Commission had on September 9, 2004, recalled its dismissal order and commenced the proceedings afresh on the plea of the family.
Aggrieved the doctor appealed in the National Consumer Redressal Commission, which dismissed his plea following, which he moved the apex court.