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HomeLegal NewsKerala HC : Doctors time valuable, Doctors evidence through video conferencing

Kerala HC : Doctors time valuable, Doctors evidence through video conferencing

Personal presence only in extreme circumstances

Ernakulum: The Kerala High Court issued an official memorandum to the Session and District Judges in the State directing them not to summon the doctors to be examined in the court physically but the doctors should be permitted to appear through video conferencing. The high court order added that the time of doctors was valuable and reminded the judiciary of the various orders passed by the Supreme Court of India & High Courts on the aspect of the doctors being examined through video conference.

The Kerala High Court said “ The Hon’ble Supreme Court as well as this High Court had, on several occasions exhorted the courts to avoid summoning doctors to the court unless it is found necessary at the time of doctors is extremely valuable and the time spent in courts may adversely affect their services to patients.” The Kerala HC further added that the Supreme Court through its decisions in Parmanand Katara vs Union of India (1989) 4 SCC 286, Raj Kumar v Ajay Kumar & Anr. (2011 KLT 620) had reiterated that the law courts shall not summon medical professionals to give evidence unless the evidence is necessary and even if he is summoned attempt should be made to see that he is not made to wait and waste time unnecessarily.

As far as the government doctors are considered the Kerala High Court stated in the memorandum reminded the courts in Kerala that Rule 5(4)(v) of the electronic video linkage rules which provides for appearance of the court through video conferencing from hospitals administered by the Central/State government or local bodies with medical superintendent or an authorized by them as the remote point co-ordinator and the courts should resort to the said provision appropriately.

The Kerala High Court issued the memorandum after it was approached by the doctors at mental hospital, Thiruvanathapuram with the grievance that they have been summoned by courts to remain present physically for examination. The Kerala High Court directed the sub-ordinate court that the doctors have been relieved from appearing in person and they can be examined online.

Legal Prescription

  • In case a doctor has been summoned by a court for examination, they can request the court for online appearance for examination
  • In case the court declines the request for online appearance the doctor can request the court to examine them on priority.