•  •  Dark Mode

Your Interests & Preferences

I am a...

law firm lawyer
in-house company lawyer
litigation lawyer
law student
aspiring student

Website Look & Feel

 •  •  Dark Mode
Blog Layout

Save preferences

Bhasin & Co wins ruling that hospitals not criminally liable for doctors' negligence

Bhasin & Co won a favourable verdict for its longstanding clients Apollo Hospitals that absolved the hospital company of any criminal liability for the individual negligent act of its doctor because mens rea or guilty intention cannot be ascribed to a company which is only a juristic person.

The firm had instructed senior advocate S S Gandhi in the matter which was brought before the Delhi High Court to challenge the 2007 order of a metropolitan magistrate issuing directions for registration of FIR (first information report) against Indraprastha Medical Corporation Hospital.

Bhasin & Co, senior associate Ranjan Jha had assisted Gandhi in securing the judgement against the Government of Delhi.  

While dismissing the complaint filed against the hospital company it was held in the judgement that the offence of medical criminal negligence cannot be fastened on the company since the company can neither treat nor operate a patient on its own.

However, the court also took the view that the hospital must account for an administrative negligence or a negligence arising out of lack of basic infrastructure.

Bhasin & Co said in a statement: "The judgment is significant as the Delhi High Court has affirmed the settled law of corporate personality holding that company is only a juristic person i.e. a creature of law bound by its memorandum and articles of association and not a natural person, and therefore, does not have a mind or is capable to form any mens rea or guilty intention as required in criminal acts."

"Thus, a company cannot be indictable for offences, like murder, hurt, cheating, bigamy, perjury, etc, which can only be committed by a human individual or for offences punishable with imprisonment of corporal punishment."

Click here to download the judgment.

Photo by boliston

Click to show 25 comments
at your own risk
By reading the comments you agree that they are the (often anonymous) personal views and opinions of readers, which may be biased and unreliable, and for which Legally India therefore has no liability. If you believe a comment is inappropriate, please click 'Report to LI' below the comment and we will review it as soon as practicable.