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“If Doctors Can’t Be Protected, Shut Down All Hospitals”: Kerala HC on murder of 23-yr-old doctor by an accused who brought for treatment

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A division bench of Justice Devan Ramachandran and Justice Kauser Edappagathof Kerala High Court slammed the police authorities and state government for their failure to protect a 23-year-old lady doctor who was stabbed multiple times by an accused who was brought for treatment to the hospital.

The 23-year-old lady doctor was allegedly stabbed multiple times by an accused who was in police custody and was brought to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

The bench remarked that it is the duty of police authority to protect the doctor and, further added that if the doctors can’t be protected then shut down all hospitals.

“You have failed this girl. This is a case where you brought a man from your custody. The police should have maintained continuous vigilance”.

“If doctors can’t be protected, shut down all hospitals”

The court observed that when the accused exhibited abnormal behaviour the police should have understand and anticipate the incident.

“The moment he exhibited abnormal behaviour, the police should have intervened. Security systems should have taken steps which are fool proof. He should have been restrained. Policing is to understand and anticipate the unanticipated. We don’t need you otherwise. Should it not be your first and foremost responsibility to ensure there is no violation of law?”.

The bench further said “What is the protocol for presenting accused before Magistrates? There are hundreds of accused produced before magistrates, even at night. Why is it that such protocols are not followed when presenting them before doctors? Are you saying doctors are not important? Because in our view they are. They turn the wheels of the justice system. This is why we are asking for the protocol followed in the other instance and we want the same to be followed with respect to doctors also”.

The bench further said that leaving a accused alone with lady doctor is a recipe of disaster.

“Leaving a patient of this nature alone with the doctor is a sure recipe for disaster. To say that the police will stand outside when he has been brought before a lady doctor is a recipe for disaster”.

“Imagine the plight of the parents. They send their daughter to the hospital not to work but to serve and she is brought back in a coffin. The worst nightmare has happened today. Has this happened before in any other country or are we the first in this also?”.

Bench further said that due to such incident people will not join this profession due to fear and feeling unsafe “How can young girls be house surgeons and work at night now? Doctors have gone on strike today and for the first time, even we cannot stop that. But imagine how many people are facing hardship because of it”.

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