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Justice delayed is justice undermined


New Delhi: Justice delayed is not only justice denied, it is also circumvented and undermined, the apex consumer commission has said while disallowing a man to lead additional evidences in a medical negligence case after 14 years.

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), presided by Justice J M Malik passed the order while upholding Tamil Nadu State Consumer Commission’s order dismissing the application for leading additional evidences.

The application was filed by an advocate in his complaint against Tamil Nadu government and three doctors of a state based medical college.

“The case is pending for the last 14 years and in case this application is allowed, with the request to cross examine the witnesses as well as rebuttal evidence, it will entail 4-5 years more. This would be against the concept and object of the Consumer Protection Act which requires that the complaint must be disposed of within six months,” the NCDRC said.

“It is well settled that justice delayed is not only justice denied, it is also circumvented, justice mocked and system of justice undermined.

“The application is without force and the same is hereby dismissed. The State Commission is directed to decide the case expeditiously without any further delay,” it said, adding that the plea was moved at a belated stage.

While dismissing the plea of the complainant advocate P Kandasamy, the apex commission said that the lawyer was well aware of the facts and circumstances since the beginning.

Kandasamy had filed a complaint before the Tamil Nadu State Consumer Commission in November 2003 against the State government, Dean and two doctors of a Thanjavur-based medical college for alleged medical negligence.

He had claimed that his elder brother complained of back pain and was taken to the hospital attached to the government medical college where Mylogram test was conducted. During the procedure he died, the complaint had alleged.

In his complaint, Kandasamy had sought Rs 25 lakh from the respondents.

The NCDRC dismissed the plea of the complainant while noting that the case is now already fixed for final disposal in state commission.

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