Bombay high court has set aside an order of the Medical Council of India (MCI) which dismissed as time-barred an appeal by a patient in a case of alleged medical negligence against a gynaecologist. The high court noted that MCI, without hearing Shreya Nimonkar, dismissed her appeal on grounds of delay in filing. A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka has asked MCI to take a relook and decide on condoning the delay in filing the appeal within three months. Nimonkar’s advocate Pooja Joshi-Deshpande argued that there was delay of just 4 days in filing the appeal as the September 26, 2015, order of the Maharashtra Medical Council was served on her on October 12.The bench said MCI’s May 10 order “clearly shows that the petitioner was not heard before passing the order“. Also the order records that under Indian Medical (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, the period of limitation for appeal before it is 60 days and further 60 days is given if there is sufficient cause for delay in filing it. The first respondent (MCI) ought to have granted an opportunity to the petitioner to apply for condonation of delay ,” said the bench in its March 27 order uploaded two days ago. Nimonkar’s petition had urged for a medical panel to conduct an inquiry .

It stated that she was under Dombivli-based Dr Seema Shanbhag’s treatment for a menstrual disorder and advised hysterectomy, which was performed along with laparoscopic surgeon Dr Ujwal Mahajan. Nimonkar faced post-surgery complications which was diagnosed much later as intra operative ureteric injury to both ureters. A urologist then fitted her with a stent but following more complications, she underwent two surgeries at Sion Hospital where she was fitted with an artificial urinary system.

Her complaint to MMC said both doctors knew during hysterectomy that the re was injury to both ureters. MMC dismissed her complaint saying there was no medical negligence.

The bench said since it is remanding the matter to MCI it will not go into the merits of MMC’s order. “If the delay in preferring appeal is condoned, the first respondent (MCI) will have to go into the legality and validity of the said (MMC’s) order,” it added.