Journalist's Death: HC Issues Notice To Govt On Plea Challenging Probe

Mudasir Ali

Srinagar- The High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Friday issued notices to the Union Territory administration on a petition challenging an “enquiry report” and seeking a fresh initiation of proceedings against BMO SDH Charar-i-Sharief, the on-duty doctor and paramedic staff for their alleged negligence that led to Journalist Mudasir Ali’s death.

The notices were issued to the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir through Commissioner /Secretary to Government, Health and Medical Education Department, Director, Directorate of Health Services Kashmir, Deputy Director, Health Services Kashmir and Expert Committee, Through Head, Dr. Abdul Rashid Najjar, Health and Medical Education Department.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mudasir, who was a senior editor at Greater Kashmir, died almost a year back at Charar-i-Sharif Sub-District hospital after the on-duty doctor and paramedic staff failed to provide him basic life support.

A single bench comprising Justice Mohammad Akram Chaudhary, passed the order on a petition filed by the deceased Journalist’s brother, Jehangir Ali. In the given order, the division bench has asked the four respondents to raise their objections, in the same case, within four weeks from the date of issuance of the notice.

Notably, the petitioner had filed a writ alleging that Mudasir had died due to medical negligence and inadequacy of medical support at Sub District Hospital Charar-e-Sharief.

This had also resulted in the constitution of two separate three member enquiry committees by Director Health Services, Kashmir who had directed the committee to investigate the allegations of medical negligence and submit a detailed report. Both the committees hadn’t held anyone responsible for the young Journalist's death.

It was further alleged in the petition that despite the committee having recommended attachment of the delinquent doctor and the other staff to the Directorate of Health Services, it had remained silent on the charge of medical negligence.

The petitioner had also alleged that the enquiry committee has derelicted in its duty of enquiry, as it on one hand has directed attachment of the delinquents while on the other hand has deliberately omitted the concluding findings on medical negligence.

Talking to Kashmir Observer, Advocate Salih Pirzada, who is representing the petitioner, said that the issued notices are a step closer to getting justice for Mudasir Ali. “There was clearly negligence from the on duty doctors and staff while treating Mudasir and as per Supreme Court guidelines, they must be attached for their recklessness and negligence.”

He further said, “Even though the enquiry committee had said that the delinquents must be punished but still hasn’t termed Mudasir’s death as due to negligence. But, now that these fresh notices have been served, it feels as if we are a step closer towards justice. We’re sure that those who were behind Mudasir’s death will be held responsible and subsequently attached.”

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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