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US-based Indian doctor Kunal Saha, fighting a case of medical negligence in India over his wife's death, has moved a writ petition before the Calcutta High Court seeking action against the West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) and its functionaries for their 'deliberate violation' of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. The petition filed on Jan 11 also named WBMC president Ashok Chowdhury, its registrar D.K. Ghosh as well as the West Bengal Information Commissioner, charging them with violating the act. Saha's wife Anuradha had died from alleged medical negligence during a trip to Kolkata in 1998. The WBMC acquitted all three doctors accused of medical negligence after an investigation, which Saha termed 'botched up' saying that the organisation had 'refused to provide any documents until now'. Since her death, Saha, an AIDS specialist, has been fighting legal battles in different courts, including the Supreme Court, against the three senior Kolkata doctors (Sukumar Mukherjee, Abani Roychowdhury and Baidyanath Halder) for their alleged wrongful treatment and against medical corruption in India. 'The Right to Information Act has ignited the battle for medical justice in West Bengal,' Saha told IANS over telephone from Columbus, Ohio, in the US. 'The WBMC has always shielded the errant doctors through sham 'investigation' behind closed doors. RTI Act has given ordinary people an extraordinary power to fight this corrupt practice by the medical council,' Saha said. 'While separate 'criminal' and 'compensation' cases are still pending before the Supreme Court against these doctors, the blatant violation of RTI Act by WBMC has been challenged this week before the Calcutta High Court,' Saha said. While Saha's appeal against the WBMC final order is pending before the apex court, he has sought all documents/materials related to the investigation of his complaint by virtue of the RTI. He said he had moved the high court because the WBMC remained non-responsive to his demand for documents. Besides the 'criminal' case against the three doctors, a 'civil' appeal for Rs.1.43 billion (Rs.777 million plus 12 percent interest since 1998) are pending in the Supreme Court. Saha in the course of his legal battle has formed an organisation called People for Better Treatment (PBT) after teaming up with other aggrieved patients in India. Indian American doctor fights for information - India News
New Delhi, July 22: A senior officer at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur has accused the institute of suspending him for using the Right to Information Act to point out alleged irregularities in the appointment of top administrators. Kalo Boran Mahapatra has complained to the Central Information Commission (CIC) that IIT Kharagpur suspended him last July after he asked for documents that he claims would have revealed that the selected candidates were not qualified for the posts. IIT officials, however, said Mahapatra was suspended because of a complaint they had received from income-tax authorities that he had drawn an advance to build a house but had not constructed it. The registrar, a professor of linguistics at the IIT, obtained fewer marks than the 55 per cent required at the post-graduate level for appointment, Mahapatra has claimed. The deputy registrar, assistant registrar and finance officer were also appointed despite failing to meet the qualifications, the guest house manager has alleged. Mahapatra said he came to know of the irregularities as he was on a committee that screened applications to the posts. Suspended for about a year now, Mahapatra will make a fresh presentation before the CIC this week, where, he claimed, â€œhe will provide evidence of victimisationâ€. The CIC, calling the allegation a â€œserious chargeâ€, has asked the IIT to provide Mahapatra with documents related to the appointments by July 31. The information watchdog, however, clarified that it was not taking an â€œofficial positionâ€ against the IIT yet. â€œOnly once the documents are examined will it become clear whether Mahapatra has been victimised as he has alleged,â€ a CIC official said. The IIT has been asked to provide all the notings on the files and records. IIT Kharagpur has told the CIC that it had received 15 RTI applications from various employees but â€œno one had complained of victimisationâ€. â€œWe will comply with whatever the CIC has asked us to do,â€ IIT deputy director Madhusudan Chakraborty told The Telegraph. The IIT was â€œjustifiedâ€ in taking action against an employee who took an advance but did not utilise it for the purpose cited, Chakraborty said. Mahapatra has denied the allegation. The Telegraph - Calcutta : Frontpage