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Report No. 196

13. Confidentiality for purposes of sections 12 and 13:-

(1)(i) The Division Bench of the High Court shall, whenever a petition under section 12 is filed, direct that the identity of the patient and of his or her parents, the identity of the medical practitioner and hospitals, the identity of the medical experts, referred to in section 6, or of other experts or witnesses consulted by the Court or who have given evidence in the Court, shall, during the pendency of the petition, and after its disposal, be kept confidential and shall be referred only by the English alphabets as stated in clause (ii)..

(ii) As soon as the original petition is filed, the Division Bench of the High Court shall make an order choosing English alphabets for identifying the patient, parents, doctors, hospitals or experts or other witnesses referred to in sub clause (i) or other persons connected with the medical treatment and shall direct that in the further proceedings of the Court or in any publications in the law reports or in the print or electronic media or audio-visual media, during and after disposal of the petition, those alphabets alone shall be used to refer to the particular patient, person or hospital and that the identity of the patient, person or hospital shall not be disclosed and the High Court may, where necessary, hold all or any part of the hearing in camera.

(iii) It shall not be lawful for any person or body to refer to the identity of the patient, person or hospital or other particulars or matters referred to in sub clause (i) and (ii) in any law-report or publication in the print or electronic or audio-visual media, and the alphabets designated by the Division Bench of the High Court under subsection (2) alone shall be referred to while publishing the proceedings of the Court, during the pendency of the petition and after its disposal.

(iv) Any person or body acting in violation of the provisions of sub clause (iii) may be held liable for contempt of Court for violation of the orders of Court under sub clause (ii) and be dealt with accordingly.

(v) Notwithstanding the provision of clauses (i) to (iv), when the declarations or directions given by the High Court have to be communicated to the patient, parents, medical practitioner, hospital or experts concerned, it shall be permissible to refer to the true identity of the patient, persons or hospital and such communications shall be made in sealed covers to be delivered to these addresses so that the declarations or directions made by the High Court are understood and implemented as being with reference to the particular patient.

(vi) The High Court may make Rules of Procedure for the implementation of provisions of section 12 and this section.

(2) No person or body including media shall, in cases which have not gone to the High Court under subsection (1), publish the names of the patients or other information which may disclose the identity of the patient, relatives, doctor, hospital or experts and if these provisions are violated, may be proceeded against by way of a civil or criminal action in accordance with law.



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