eMedinewS Editorial

Health Care 18 Comments

Does Supreme Court’s bail to Binayak Sen mean that
the lower court judges were negligent?

“The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to civil rights activist Binayak Sen, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of sedition and for having links with the Naxalites. Earlier, Sen, 61, has challenged a Chhattisgarh high court order that rejected his bail plea on February 10. He sought bail contending that the trial court had erred in convicting him without substantial evidence. Sen had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court on January 6, challenging a district and sessions court order that had convicted him on various charges, including sedition, and had sentenced him to life imprisonment. A Raipur sessions court had on December 24 last year held Sen and three other people guilty of treason and for waging war against the state. He was also found guilty of sedition. Sen was arrested in Chhattisgarh in 2007 and was granted bail two years later. He was honoured with Jonathan Mann Award in 2008 while still in prison.”

The answer is No. To err is human. A judge is not supposed to have the maximum degree of knowledge and skills but only an average degree. Supreme Court overruling lower court judgment does not mean that lower court judges were negligent. Even gross errors do not make them guilty.

The same is true for the medical profession. We are bound to make errors when treating a patient. If there is a complaint against a doctor and the experts do not agree with the line of treatment, this does not mean that the treating doctor was negligent. Errors of judgment, differences of opinion and deviations from normal practice are not grounds to punish a doctor in the council or in the court.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Editor in Chief