NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
(From the order dated 2.04.2003 in Appeal No.81/2003
of the State Commission, Jharkhand )
Dr. Baleshwar Prasad & Another … Petitioners
Firtu Das Mahant … Respondent
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA,
MR. B.K. TAIMNI, MEMBER.
Unfair trade practice – petitioner-opposite party in revision – concurrent finding that he did not possess even valid RMP licence to practice medicines – second petitioner, opposite party is compounder who gave injection to the complainant’s son without any technique or prescription by qualified doctor – indulging in unfair trade practice inasmuch as petitioner is not possessing any medical qualification and yet prescribing medicines – direction to the petitioners to close down their dispensary by the District Forum and upheld by the State Commission.
For the petitioner : Mr. B.S. Chauhan &
Mr. Vinay Garg, Advocates
DATED THE 25TH JULY, 2003
JUSTICE D.P. WADHWA, J.(PRESIDENT).
This petition has been filed by Dr. Baleshwar Prasad and his compounder who were the opposite parties before the District Forum on the complaint of medical negligence filed against them by the respondent/complainant. District Forum allowed the complaint and directed that petitions were liable to compensation of Rs.3.00 lakhs to the complainant. They were further ordered to shut down their dispensary working at Bhuli. Appeal filed in the State Commission was dismissed and the order of the District Forum affirmed.
Both the Forums noticed that the first petitioner Dr. Baleshwar Prasad was not having any medical qualification either in Allopathy or in Homeopathy system of medicine. His case was that he was competent to treat the ailing persons since he was having a qualification of R.M.P. (Rural Medical Practitioner) in Allopathy system of medicine. He is an intermediate in Arts. Though he produced a copy of the certificate issued by the Counsel of R.M.P., Bihar, District Forum has doubted the genuineness and correctness of the certificates. The case against the petitioner was that while the minor son of the complainant was coming from school at 3.00 P.M., he suddenly complained of severe headache alongwith high fever. The boy was taken to the dispensary of the first petitioner for treatment. The petitioner No.2 who is the brother of the first petitioner Dr. Baleshwar Prasad and was performing the duties of a compounder, injected medicine. When there was no improvement in the condition of the boy the second petitioner again administered 2nd injection. Again there was no improvement and the second petitioner advised the complainant to take his son elsewhere for treatment. Immediately, the boy was brought to the Bhuli Central Hospital but the doctor declared the minor boy brought dead. This was at about 9.00 P.M. on the same day.
District forum has strongly commented on the conduct of the petitioner and remarked that they are “first rate liars”. Their statements were not relied upon. The second petitioner was compounder and working under the first petitioner who administered the injection. It was a clear case of negligence and has been rightly held to be so against both the petitioners.
Learned Counsel however submitted that the District Forum has no jurisdiction to direct the closure of the dispensary being run by the first petitioner and which order was affirmed by the State Commission. ‘Unfair trade practice’ has been defined in Clause (r) of Section 2 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It is an unfair practice if a person represents that the services are of a particular standard, quality or grade or makes a false or misleading representation concerning the need for , or the usefulness of, any goods or services [sub-clauses (ii) & (vi)]. Both the Forums have found that while the petitioner did not possess even valid RMP license, it was certainly an unfair trade practice. The second petitioner being compounder certainly could not give injection without any technique or prescription by qualified doctor. He works as a compounder under the first petitioner. There is no doubt that they are indulging in an unfair trade practice in as much as they did not possess any medical qualification and prescribing medicines which they could no do. Under these circumstances, District Forum was right in directing the petitioners to close down the dispensary as under Clause (f) of sub-Section (1) of Section 14 of the Act, District Forum can direct the petitioner to discontinue unfair trade practice they were indulging in.
We do not find any error in the impugned order for us to exercise our jurisdiction under clause (b) of Section 21 of the consumer Protection Act, 1986. The petition is dismissed.