New Delhi: A Delhi court has taken doctors
to task for showing "indifferent" attitude at the time of
deposing as witnesses in a criminal trial.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said doctors who
are important witnesses in criminal trials often fail to
appear before the courts with all necessary records, forcing
adjournments in the matters.
"There is not only a frequent absence of these doctors,
but in many of the cases the doctors so appearing in the
courts are either not appearing with the relevant records or
are unwilling/hesitant in providing the reports given by their
counterparts (who are no longer working in the same hospital
or are not available due to any other reasons), thereby,
compelling adjournments," the court observed.
It noted that such type of attitude of the doctors was
shown despite directions of the Delhi High Court and the
"accommodations and indulgence" given by courts to doctors
appearing as witnesses in various cases.
In any criminal trial, doctors are important witnesses
as they have to appear before the courts to verify medical
reports given either by them or their colleagues by
identifying the signatures.
ASJ Lau also pointed out the situation was worse in
case of private doctors or doctors working at private nursing
The observations of the court came when it noted that a
doctor of Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, who appeared before it,
had failed to identify the signature of one of his colleagues.
The court termed the behaviour of Dr Sanjay Vohra as
"improper", because it noted that he appeared as witness in a
criminal trial but left the courtroom without signing his
statement or without intimating anyone.
It also said that despite having worked and having seen
Dr Sanjeev, another doctor from the same hospital, he was
"unwilling and hesitant" in identifying the signatures his
colleague and had his own apprehensions.
The court also directed that its order should be placed
before the Principal Secretary, health, Delhi government and
Director, Delhi Health Services for information and necessary
action so as to ensure that the trial of criminal cases,
particularly old cases and cases pertaining to senior citizens
and women and child victims, do not suffer due to this kind of
"irresponsible" conduct by doctors.