MADRAS: In the matter of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan v. The Registrar, Tamil Nadu Medical Council, and others, an appeal was moved to Madras High Court by a doctor challenging the orders of removal of his name from the medical register for a period of two years. The accused was charged for doing professional misconduct.
The Court observed that he had issued a fake medical certificate for wrongfully gaining property and thus had committed professional misconduct. The dual bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy said that the appellant had let down all education imparted on him merely for obtaining land. This would double up the seriousness of his misconduct. The court thus opined that the punishment accorded to him was proportionate.
In the said case, an appellant had issued a medical certificate Based on this medical certificate and the Sub Registrar had adopted the procedure for home registration and a settlement deed conveying all the 19 properties of Patchaimani to his son Sakthivel who was the appellant’s son-in-law.
The settlement deed contained the left thumb impression of Patchaimani even though he was literate and used to sign. The third respondent was the daughter of Patchaimani.
After the case got disclosed Respondent no 3 filed a police complaint and also filed a complaint to the Medical Council of India to the effect that the appellant herein, in collusion with the others, had given a false and misleading Medical Certificate, certifying as if the deceased Mr.Pitchaimani was conscious and oriented and as if he is only unfit to travel from his house and which lead to the above fraudulent registration of the false document of settlement.
The Court said – Now, coming to the proportionality of the punishment, this is not a case of oversight or an issue of a medical certificate to any third person by not taking adequate care. This is a certificate issued willfully knowing the true state of affairs…… When the appellant has let down all the education imparted on him by these institutions just because the real estate value of these sub-urban properties has skyrocketed beyond its worth, we feel that doubles up the seriousness of the misconduct, and accordingly, we do not find that the punishment imposed is in any manner disproportionate or unduly severe on the appellant.
When the Complaint was sent to Tamil Nadu Medical Council the Registrar of TNMC proceeded against the appellant. Copy of complaint was forwarded to the appellant calling for an explanation.
The appellant submitted that there was no evidence for the allegations. Further, he said that he had visited the deceased multiple time when he was admitted to the Fortis Malar hospital and the patient was conscious and oriented. Therefore, after getting the permission of the treating doctor and after examining the patient, he issued the certificate.
After observing the materials, the court noted that the certificate issued by the appellant was not as per the regulations. The certificate gave false information and was in direct contravention of the Regulations. Regulation 7.1 of the Tamil Nadu Medical Council (Professions Conduct Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2003 specifically mentions that violation of any Regulation is misconduct.
Though the appellant stressed on the word “Sensorial” to contend that the patient was conscious, the court opined that the fact that the patient could not even sign would prove that the patient was disoriented. The court also noted that in the present case, the appellant was given a fair chance of hearing and thus there was no violation of the principles of natural justice.
This apart, from the above facts, it is clear that the action of the appellant, in issuing the certificate is clearly fraudulent and thus, fraud vitiates the actions and therefore, any plea as to the violation of principles of natural justice is only hyper-technical and without any substance. Therefore, we do not find any violation of principles of natural justice by the respondents 1 and 2.
The court was also satisfied that in view of the nature of the act committed by the appellant, the punishment imposed on him was proportionate. Thus, it did not warrant any interference.
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