Letters to the editor: Doctors and lawyers liability

Updated: Dec 6 2013, 09:05am hrs
The Medicos Legal Action Group (MLAG) has reportedly asked the Centre and the Law Commission to remove doctors from the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act. They want treatment on a par with advocates whose services have not been brought under the Act. Quite often, medical negligence has proved lethal or has resulted in permanent disablement to the patients. Negligence results in deficiency in service. The doctors have been brought under the purview of the Act only after adequate deliberations. Doctors should be accountable if the patient dies or suffers bodily or mental injury due to negligence. It is not wise to concede the demands of the MLAG. Similarly, advocates also have to be brought under the Consumer Protection Act. If negligence or delay in attending to patients by doctors can cause serious damage to the patients (who can be called consumers of service), lethargy on the part of advocates in attending to courts in time has more often than not resulted cases dragging on for decades. Cases are dismissed for want of timely attendance in court by advocates. Therefore, the case is to bring the advocates and medicos under the ambit of Consumer Protection Act. Advocates never acknowledge or issue the receipt for legal fees paid. They do not accept instruments also in lieu of cash. In doing so, they evade payment of tax in proportion to the income earned by them. If and when the advocates do not handle the cases of their clients properly, the clients suffer a lot and feel dejected. Hence, the centre must seriously deliberate on the issue and bring the advocates in the Consumers Protection Act so that wisdom dawns on them to render better service and avoid delay in disposal of cases by courts.

KV Seetharamaiah


Oil reforms now!

Apropos of the edit More gas, less oil (FE, December 5), a huge delay in many vital decisions grips the country. The investor is the biggest sufferer at the moment, waiting for many proposals fruition. A single window clearance for speedy approvals is needed. Besides approvals, pricing and tax laws are the two most important regimes that need to be fixed. The issue is not limited to the profitability of the oil companies alonethe energy security of the entire country is at stake. The price parity issue in petrol and diesel needs to be settled at the earliest. The upcoming elections would further delay any reforms by at least another year. The government needs to keep inflation at the lowest possible level so that the rise in prices after such decisions do not mar the daily life of the people.

Vinay Singhal, Gurgaon

The Chinese conundrum

Apropos of the column Bringing the Chinese consumer to life (FE, December 4), till the sweeping reforms in 1978, the Chinese economy was as bad as the Indian economy of those days. However, the reforms have given a chance to the Communist Party in China to keep adhering to the model which resembles the USSR model. No doubt, a lot of wealth has been added and even wasted in funding the capitalist countries. The difference in China and USSR is that China's engine is still running while the USSR broke down as the production could not be sustained. The investors are always eager to spend more and more but the labour community has been squeezed. At this juncture, the country is left with no choice but to adopt labour-centric approach in which consumption through rise in wages is the only way to break the legacy of export.

RK Arya, Faridabad