The Supreme Court today refused to entertain an appeal filed by an NGO against a Calcutta High Court order asking it to pay Rs 10 lakh before deciding its plea seeking directions to exhume the body of a six-month-old girl for post-mortem to probe medical negligence charges.
"The high court had some doubt about your bona fides so it asked you to deposit the amount of Rs 10 lakh. There is a law to deal with it. The high court can ask a petitioner to deposit money if it has any doubt about the petitioner's bona fides," the bench observed.
Senior advocate Bhim Singh, appearing for the NGO, said it has never been heard that the high court asks a public interest litigant to deposit Rs 10 lakh as a pre-condition for hearing a PIL.
The NGO People for Better Treatment, run by Ohio-based AIDS researcher Kunal Saha, had approached the apex court against the high court order asking it to pay Rs 10 lakh before deciding its plea seeking directions to exhume the body of a six-month-old girl for post-mortem to probe medical negligence charges against an Asansol-based private medical facility.
The NGO had not only raised doubt against the hospital's diagnosis and treatment, but also questioned the grounds on which the death certificate was issued.
"While medical records obtained by Khushi's unfortunate parents clearly suggested that the child died from wrongful therapy, hospital authority did not conduct any autopsy as they quickly disposed of the body even though Khushi died soon after hospital admission under unnatural condition.
"Although the victim's family also lodged a complaint with the local police following the sudden death of the baby-girl, police remained absolutely non-responsive for proper investigation and took no step for postmortem to try to identify the exact cause of Khushi's untimely demise," the plea said.
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