ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By M P Ram Mohan

Medical Negligence and Law

India has adopted the Bolam rule from the United Kingdom and has been using it to adjudicate cases of medical negligence. The evolution of the Bolam rule in the UK as well as the way the rule is applied in India by the Supreme Court reflects a balance between judicial intervention and deference to medical expertise. Although it is settled that it is the courts and not medical experts who must finally decide on whether the conduct of a doctor is negligent, the standards to be used when evaluating expert evidence and the extent to which such cases must be deferred to are evolving. The Supreme Court has not clearly stated the judicial standard against which it will test these differing opinions of medical experts and has not been consistent in its willingness to do so. Therefore, the application of the Bolam rule in India has been inconsistent and this is likely to have an impact on the decisions made by medical practitioners.

Challenges in Shale Gas Production Cannot Be Resolved by Generic Environment Clearance Processes

India is venturing into shale gas fracking with a pursuit to cut down its natural gas export bill significantly. This process poses several challenges concerning “energy-water nexus,” such as mixing of shale fluid with the groundwater, rationing of water in a water-scarce country, and lack of technical know-how of waste-water treatment. These challenges may result in significant problems if not regulated at the exploration stage of the gas. This article highlights legal and policy gaps concerning shale gas exploration process and water usage. 

Air Quality Data Dissemination

Comprehensive air quality monitoring and its data dissemination remain the key factors that determine our ability to understand the quality of the environment in which we live. The Supreme Court’s dictum of the right to a clean environment and healthy living under Article 21 of the Constitution could also include in its ambit the right to have knowledge of the quality of air we breathe. The Central Pollution Control Board should also consider multiple policy and technological options, including adopting low-cost AQM towards better implementation of national air quality standards.