Judgement of the Day - PARMANAND KATARA V. UNION OF INDIA 1989 (4) SCC 286


The petitioner, Parmanand Katara, who claims himself to be a human rights activist, filed this writ petition in public interest based on a newspaper report concerning the death of a scooterist who was knocked down by a speeding car. The scooterist was alive when the accident took place, he breathed his last when he was taken to the hospital which was approximately 20km away from the place where the accident had occurred . The nearest hospital refused to tend to him, merely because the hospital handles no medico-legal case.


Preservation of human life is of paramount importance. Every private or government hospital has an obligation to extend their services for accidental cases with due expertise for protecting life. Medical practitioner, the respondent said that the police officials harassed them for the purposes of interrogation. After hearing the respondent, it was enunciated that the medical officer on duty needs to inform the duty constable regarding the age, sex and other necessary details of the patient and have to start treatment immediately. That constable has to inform about the details of the patient to the concerned police station for further action. Courts should not summon medical professionals unnecessarily for the same so that they could perform their duty uninterruptedly.

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