In a pathbreaking decision, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission upheld the verdict of the District Forum of Nadiad and held the appellant, Dr. Shyam Kumar guilty of negligent conduct while operating upon the eyes of Rameshbhai Harmanbhai Kachchiya and asked the doctor to pay Rs 1,85,000 as compensation along with 12% interest
Rameshbhai had approached Dr. Shyam Kumar as he was facing problems with his vision. The doctor initially diagnosed him for glaucoma and conducted the surgery for the same. As there was no improvement whatsoever, Dr. Shyam Kumar performed a cataract operation on his right eye which didn’t help either. As a result of these extensive surgeries, Rameshbhai’s retinas were severely weakened which resulted in total loss of vision.
Proceedings and Verdict
Rameshbhai filed a complained in the District Forum against the doctor claiming a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh. The district forum held that there was deficiency in service and directed the doctor to pay Rs. 1,85,000 along with a 12% interest. Dr. Shyam Kumar appealed to the national commission on the grounds that the aggrieved party did not come under the purview of a consumer and had also exhausted the limitation period for the complaint. His appealed was turned down on the basis of the fact that since the patient had paid the fee for services like anaesthesia, it categorised him as a consumer. The court also denied the argument of expiration of limitation period to the appellant, dismissing his appeal and holding him guilty of negligence.
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