Supreme Court of India
Dr. Harsih Kumar Khurana vs Joginder Singh . on 7 September, 2021Author: A.S. Bopanna

Bench: Hon’Ble The Justice, Surya Kant, A.S. Bopanna





Dr. Harish Kumar Khurana .…Appellant(s)


Joginder Singh & Ors. …. Respondent(s)





A.S. Bopanna,J.

1. The appellants in all the above three appeals are

assailing the order dated 13.08.2009 passed by the National

Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi

(“NCDRC” for short) in Original Petition No.289/1997.
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
Through the said order, the NCDRC has held the appellants
Vishal Anand
Date: 2021.09.07
16:41:03 IST

herein guilty of medical negligence and has directed payment

Page 1 of 27
of Rs.17,00,000/­ (Rupees Seventeen Lakhs only) with

interest at the rate of 9 % per annum from the date of filing

the complaint till the date of payment. The appellant in Civil

Appeal No.7380/2009 is the doctor who administered

anaesthesia to the patient. The appellant in C.A.

No.6933/2009 is the hospital wherein the operation was

performed. The appeal bearing C.A. No.8118/2009 is filed by

the New India Assurance Company Limited from whom the

anaesthetist and the hospital had taken separate policy to the

extent limited under the policy.

2. The brief factual matrix leading to the above case is as

here below. The patient Smt. Jasbeer Kaur, wife of the first

claimant and mother of claimants 2 and 3 before the NCDRC

visited the appellant hospital on 08.10.1996 and was

diagnosed with kidney stone in her right kidney. She was

advised to undergo surgery by the treating surgeon Dr. R.K.

Majumdar. The patient who was examined as an outpatient

had come back to the hospital only on 03.12.1996. On being

examined again at that point, it was noticed that the right

kidney had been severely damaged and the left kidney was

also diagnosed with a stone. In medical terms, the diagnosis
Page 2 of 27
was referred as Hydronephrosis, Grade IV with renal stone in

the right kidney and Hydronephrosis of Grade II in the left

kidney. As advised earlier, the patient was again advised


3. Accordingly, the patient admitted herself on

06.12.1996 and she was declared fit for surgery. On

07.12.1996, Dr. H.K. Khurana informed the patient as also

her husband that both the kidneys could not be operated at

the same time due to the severe damage. They were advised

that as per the medical practice, the less affected kidney that

is the left kidney would be operated in the beginning since

complete removal of the right kidney cannot be ruled out. In

such eventuality, the left kidney if rectified would be able to

function. The appellants contend that on 09.12.1996 an

informed consent of high­risk surgery was obtained from the

patient as well as her husband. The respondent No.1 and Dr.

R.K. Majumdar were involved in performing the surgery of the

left kidney, which was a successful operation. As per the say

on behalf of the hospital and the doctors, the condition of the

patient improved by 12.12.1996 due to which the possibility

of the second surgery to the right kidney was considered. The
Page 3 of 27
necessary tests conducted by the anaesthetist, the physician

and the surgeon resulted in clearing the patient for the

second surgery.

4. The second surgery was prepared to be conducted on

16.12.1996 and the patient was taken to the operation

theatre around 9:45 a.m. The appellant in C.A.

No.7380/2009, namely Dr. H.K. Khurana administered the

injections of Pentothal Sodium and Scolin as per the medical

practice. Subsequent thereto, an endotracheal tube of 7.5

mm diameter was inserted in the trachea to give nitrous oxide

and oxygen. The appellants contend that the said standard

procedure was also followed during the first surgery but on

the present occasion the condition of the patient deteriorated,

the blood pressure fell and pulse became feeble. The cardiac

respiratory arrest was noticed. The efforts said to have been

made by the doctors including the physician did not yield

result, though the patient had been put on Boyle’s machine

and necessary oxygen was supplied using the same. In the

evening, the patient is stated to have been put on an

automatic ventilator and was shifted to critical care unit.

Despite the best efforts, the patient expired on 23.12.1996.
Page 4 of 27
5. The appellants contend that an issue arose with regard

to the payment of the balance medical bills. When the same

was demanded, since the respondent No.1 i.e the husband of

the deceased was a union leader at Whirlpool India, a

demonstration was held by the workers at the hospital on

06.02.1997 which resulted in the criminal charges in a

criminal complaint being filed against the appellant hospital

and also a magisterial enquiry was conducted. The appellant

hospital is stated to have filed a suit for recovery of the

balance of the medical bills due in C.S. No.332/1997 on

13.08.1997 which according to them had triggered the

criminal complaint and claim for compensation was made as

a counter blast. The criminal complaint is said to have been

filed in FIR No.128 on 27.09.1997. The complaint before the

NCDRC was filed thereafter alleging medical negligence and

claiming compensation which is dated 06.12.1997. The

NCDRC having entertained the same has passed the order

impugned herein.

6. The allegation against the appellant doctor and the

hospital is that they did not exercise the care which was

Page 5 of 27
required in treating the patient. Though, the operation on the

left kidney conducted on 09.12.1996 was successful, it is

contended that the surgeon who had conducted the operation

namely, Dr. Majumdar had recorded in the case sheet that

the patient has poor tolerance to anaesthesia. It was the

further grievance of the claimants before the NCDRC that the

second operation within the short duration was forced upon

the patient which led to the consequences. Despite the

observation of the surgeon relating to the poor tolerance to

anaesthesia, appropriate care was not taken and the required

medical equipments more particularly the ventilator was not

kept available. Further, the consent of the patient had not

been obtained for the second operation. It was contended that

even after the patient suffered a cardiac arrest proper care

was not taken in having the presence of the cardiologist or a

neurologist. The physician who attended the patient had also

taken some time to change and attend to the patient. It was

therefore contended that the said negligence on the part of

the doctors as well as the hospital had resulted in the death

of the patient.

Page 6 of 27
7. The appellants herein, who were the respondents

before NCDRC filed their version denying the case put forth

on behalf of the claimants. It was contended that the high

risk involved in the second operation was made known to the

patient and the cardiac arrest which occurred in the present

case is likely to occur in certain cases for which appropriate

care had been taken by the doctors. The observation relating

to poor tolerance to anaesthesia was explained as not being a

major issue inasmuch as the earlier operation was successful

and was not eventful though anaesthesia had been

administered in the same manner for the first surgery.

8. The claimants as well as the respondents before the

NCDRC had filed their respective affidavits and had also

exchanged interrogatories. No medical evidence was tendered

on behalf of claimants. Based on the same, the NCDRC

arrived at its conclusion.

9. The learned counsel for the appellants in

C.A.No.7380/2009 and C.A. No.6933/2009 made detailed

reference to the history of the patient and the patient’s sheet

maintained by the hospital. In that regard it is pointed out

Page 7 of 27
that on 13.12.1996 the doctor had recorded that the surgical

recovery which related to the first operation conducted on

09.12.1996, to be excellent. On 14.12.1996, the observation

recorded also indicated that the patient is insisting for

surgery of the other side. In that light, also keeping in view

the requirement of the surgery to the right kidney which was

damaged, a decision was to be taken in that regard. The

informed consent was obtained from the husband of the

patient where the risk factor had also been recorded. It is

contended that every untoward incident cannot be considered

as medical negligence. The learned counsel for the hospital

also has referred to the documents and the facilities available

in the hospital and the care taken by the doctors.

10. The learned counsel for the respondent No.1 would

however dispute the position and contend that the entire

aspect has been taken note by the NCDRC. It is contended

that the observation on 14.12.1996 that the patient is

insisting for surgery of the other side is an insertion. The

learned counsel refers to the circumstances and the sequence

of events that unfolded on 16.12.1996 to contend that

immediately on the anaesthesia being administered, the

Page 8 of 27
patient had suffered cardiac arrest and the hospital which did

not possess a ventilator was negligent. The Boyle’s apparatus

was not sufficient and the anaesthetist claiming to have

manually operated the same for such long time cannot be

accepted as a correct statement. It is further contended that

the hospital did not possess public address system or paging

service which resulted in the delay in securing the physician

to attend and revive the patient.

11. In the background of the rival contentions, the fact

that a second operation was performed on 16.12.1996 and

the patient had suffered a cardiac arrest after she was

administered anaesthesia appears to be the undisputed

position from the medical records as well as the statement of

the parties. Every death of a patient cannot on the face of it

be considered as death due to medical negligence unless

there is material on record to suggest to that effect. It is

necessary that the hospital and the doctors are required to

exercise sufficient care in treating the patient in all

circumstance. However, in unfortunate cases though death

may occur and if it is alleged to be due to medical negligence

and a claim in that regard is made, it is necessary that

Page 9 of 27
sufficient material or medical evidence should be available

before the adjudicating authority to arrive at a conclusion.

Insofar as the enunciation of the legal position on this aspect,

the learned counsel for the appellant had relied on the

decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Jacob Mathew vs.

State of Punjab and Anr. (2005) 6 SCC 1 wherein it has

been held that the true test for establishing negligence in

diagnosis or treatment on the part of a doctor is whether he

has been proved to be guilty of such failure as no doctor of

ordinary skill would be guilty of, if acting with ordinary care.

The accident during the course of medical or surgical

treatment has a wider meaning. Ordinarily an accident

means an unintended and unforeseen injurious occurrence,

something that does not occur in the usual course of events

or that could not be reasonably anticipated. The learned

counsel has also referred to the decision in Martin

F.D’Souza vs. Mohd. Ishfaq (2009) 3 SCC 1 wherein it is

stated that simply because the patient has not favourably

responded to a treatment given by doctor or a surgery has

failed, the doctor cannot be held straight away liable for

Page 10 of 27
medical negligence by applying the doctrine of Res Ipsa

Loquitor. It is further observed therein that sometimes despite

best efforts the treatment of a doctor fails and the same does

not mean that the doctor or the surgeon must be held guilty

of medical negligence unless there is some strong evidence to

suggest that the doctor is negligent.

12. The learned counsel for the respondents, on the other

hand, referred to the decision in V. Kishan Rao vs. Nikhil

Super Speciality Hospital and Another (2010) 5 SCC 513

to contend that the decision in the case of Martin F.D’Souza

(supra) wherein general directions is given to secure medical

report at preliminary stage is held to be not treated as a

binding precedent and those directions must be confined to

the particular facts of that case. It is held that in a case

where negligence is evident, the principles of res ipsa loquitur

operates and the complainant does not have to prove

anything and in the said case it is held that in such event it

is for the respondent to prove that he has taken care and

done his duties, to repel the charge of negligence. Though

such conclusion has been reached on the general direction,

Page 11 of 27
we take note that in V. Kishan Rao (supra) the fact situation

indicated that RW1 had admitted in his evidence that the

patient was not treated for malaria. In that background, it

was taken into consideration that the patient had been

treated for typhoid though the test in that regard was found

negative and the test for malaria was positive. The said fact

situation therefore indicated that the principle of res ipsa

loquitur would apply. It would be apposite to note that in the

very decision this Court has expressed the view that before

forming an opinion that expert evidence is necessary, the

Fora under the Act must come to a conclusion that a case is

complicated enough to require the opinion of an expert or the

facts of the case are such that it cannot be resolved by

members of the Fora without the assistance of the expert

opinion. It is held that no mechanical approach can be

followed and each case has to be judged on its own facts.

13. In S.K. Jhunjhunwala vs. Dhanwanti Kaur and

Another (2019) 2 SCC 282 referred by the learned counsel for

the respondent, the negligence alleged was of suffering

ailment as a result of improper performance of surgery. It was

Page 12 of 27
held that there has to be direct nexus with these two factors

to sue a doctor for negligence. In, Nizam’s Institute of

Medical Sciences vs. Prasanth S. Dhananka and Others

(2009) 6 SCC 1 relied upon by the learned counsel for the

respondent, broad principles under which the medical

negligence as a tort have to be evaluated is taken note, as has

been laid down in the case of Jacob Mathew (supra). The

ultimate conclusion reached in the case of Nizam’s Institute

(supra) relating to the lack of care and caution and the

negligence on the part of the attending doctors was with

reference to the medical report which was available on record

which indicated the existence of tumour located at left upper

chest and in that circumstance the presence of neuro

surgeon was essential and the said procedure not being

adopted, a case of negligence or indifference on the part of the

attending doctors had been proved.

14. Having noted the decisions relied upon by the learned

counsel for the parties, it is clear that in every case where the

treatment is not successful or the patient dies during

surgery, it cannot be automatically assumed that the medical

Page 13 of 27
professional was negligent. To indicate negligence there

should be material available on record or else appropriate

medical evidence should be tendered. The negligence alleged

should be so glaring, in which event the principle of res ipsa

loquitur could be made applicable and not based on

perception. In the instant case, apart from the allegations

made by the claimants before the NCDRC both in the

complaint and in the affidavit filed in the proceedings, there

is no other medical evidence tendered by the complainant to

indicate negligence on the part of the doctors who, on their

own behalf had explained their position relating to the

medical process in their affidavit to explain there was no

negligence. The reference made is to the answers given by Dr.

Khurana to the interrogatories raised by the complainant. In

respect of the first operation, it was clarified that the patient

did not have any side effects/complications during the first

operation which was described as uneventful. On leaving the

operation theatre, the patient was in the custody of surgeon.

After the operation he had not been called for any

complication related to anaesthesia. Since he had written the

anaesthesia notes in the register during the first operation,

Page 14 of 27
he did not see reason to see the hospital record after the first

operation. With regard to the comment of the surgeon after

the first operation in the treatment sheet regarding the

patient being ‘poorly tolerant to anaesthesia’, he has replied

that the said observation had no meaning since the first

operation was uneventful and was successful. There was no

anaesthesia related complication of any kind. With regard to

the emergency which occurred during the second operation

and the manner in which he had alerted the hospital and

requisitioned the help of cardiologist, he has answered that

the full operation theatre team was already there and the

cardiologist was summoned by one of the members of the

team and the specific details could not be answered by him

since the entire team was busy in attempting to save the


15. The NCDRC having noted the reply has arrived at the

conclusion that since there was a note that the patient had

poor tolerance to anaesthesia, he had disregarded the

observation without holding any discussion with any other

anaesthesiologist and other specialist. Insofar as the facility

of the paging system the NCDRC had taken note that the

Page 15 of 27
magisterial enquiry has come to a conclusion that there is no

paging system. The conclusion reached by the NCDRC on

first aspect appears to be an assumption without the backing

of medical evidence. The anaesthetist Dr. Khurana has

claimed to be experienced in the field and in the contention

put forth before the NCDRC has claimed to have successfully

administered anaesthesia to more than 25,000 patients in

elective as well as emergency surgical procedures. Even if the

same is accepted to be a tall claim, the fact remains that he

had sufficient experience of administering anaesthesia.

However, the question was as to whether he was negligent.

That aspect of the matter as to whether in the background of

the medical records, the manner in which he had proceeded

to administer the anaesthesia amounted to negligence could

have been determined only if there was medical evidence on

record. In the instant case it is not a situation that the

diagnosis was wrong. The fact of both the kidneys requiring

to be operated is the admitted position. The two aspects

which are the foundation for allegation of negligence is that

no care was taken despite the observation of the surgeon

after the first surgery that the patient is poorly tolerant to

Page 16 of 27
anaesthesia. The second aspect is as to whether the patient’s

life was exposed to risk by advising and preparing for the

second operation without sufficient gap after the first

operation. Any of the shortcoming relating to infrastructure

as mentioned in the report of the magisterial enquiry will

become material only if the medical evidence is to the effect

that the said two aspects were not the normal situation and

that undertaking operation in such situation with reference

to the medical condition of the patient was a high­risk

procedure, the backup that ought to have been ensured and

whether the medical equipments that were available at that

point in time were sufficient. Without reference to the

evidence, mere assumption would not be sufficient is the

legal position laid down in the decisions referred above.

Principle of res ipsa loquitur is invoked only in cases the

negligence is so obvious.

16. The next aspect on which the NCDRC has found fault

with the appellants is regarding the consent being taken only

of her husband for the second surgery. Though the NCDRC

has referred to an earlier decision rendered by the

Commission on this aspect, what is necessary to be taken

Page 17 of 27
note is that in the instant facts the first operation had been

performed on 09.12.1996 during which time an informed

consent was taken from the patient as also from her

husband. During the second operation the patient was in the

process of recovery from the first operation and the

requirement of second surgery was informed to her. In that

circumstance the informed consent was obtained from the

husband. The noting in the document at Annexure RA­3 also

indicates that he has noted that he has been informed about

the high risk of his patient in detail and his consent is given.

Though it was contended before the NCDRC that there was

an interpolation in the patient’s sheet on 14.12.2016, the

informed consent form indicates that it has been written in

hand and signed by the patients’ husband i.e., the first

complainant before NCDRC and consent was given and the

patient was also kept in the loop. The complainant who was

throughout with the patient and who had given his consent

did not make any other contrary noting therein so as to hold

the non­taking of the consent from the patient against the

appellants herein.

Page 18 of 27
17. On the aspect relating to the noting regarding poor

tolerance to anaesthesia though the NCDRC has reached the

conclusion that he had not taken care of such observation,

the very fact that the NCDRC had noted that Dr. Khurana

was the anaesthetist during the first surgery could not have

been held against him since in the said circumstance he was

aware about the details of the patient to whom he had

administered anaesthesia for the first surgery. When it is

shown that the earlier operation was uneventful, in the

absence of any medical evidence brought on record to the

contrary regarding the failure on the part of Dr. Khurana in

taking any steps while administering anaesthesia for the

second operation, the observation of poor tolerance in the

case sheet by itself cannot be assumed as negligence. It is no

doubt unfortunate that the patient had suffered cardiac

arrest. The procedure which was required to be followed

thereafter has been followed as per the evidence put forth by

the appellant and the consequences has been explained by

them. To arrive at the conclusion that there was negligence,

the medical evidence to point out negligence in administering

anaesthesia even in that situation was required to be

Page 19 of 27
tendered since the adjudicating authority is not an expert in

the field of medicine to record an independent opinion.

18. The NCDRC has placed much reliance on the enquiry

report which cannot be treated as contra medical evidence as

compared to the evidence tendered by the appellants. The

observation contained in the judgment of the criminal case

decided on 27.11.2006, which has been referred to by the

NCDRC to form its opinion that the said observation amounts

to a situation that there was some serious medical negligence

is not the correct position. The conclusion is not that there

was negligence but keeping in view the standard of proof that

is required in a criminal trial to establish gross negligence, an

alternate statement was made by the Court stating that even

if there is some negligence the same cannot be considered as

gross negligence. Such observation was not a finding

recorded that there was negligence. So far as the reliance

placed on an enquiry that was conducted by the District

Magistrate, the same cannot be considered as medical

evidence to hold negligence on the part of the doctors or the

hospital in the matter of conducting the second surgery and

the condition of the patient in the particular facts of this

Page 20 of 27
case. Though, the civil surgeon was a member of the two­

member committee which conducted the enquiry and certain

adverse observations were made therein, the conclusion

therein is not after assessing evidence and providing

opportunity to controvert the same. Based on the statements

that have been recorded and the material perused, an opinion

has been expressed which cannot be the basis to arrive at a

conclusion in an independent judicial proceeding where the

parties had the opportunity of tendering evidence. In such

proceeding before the NCDRC the appellants have tendered

their evidence in the nature of affidavit and if the same is

insufficient the cause would fail. The observations contained

in the order of NCDRC is in the nature of accepting every

allegation made by the claimant regarding the sequence and

delay in the doctors attending to rectify the situation as the

only version and has not been weighed with the version put

forth by the doctors.

19. On the principle of res ipsa loquitur, the NCDRC has

taken note of an earlier case wherein the conclusion reached

was taken note in a circumstance where the anaesthesia had

killed the patient on the operating table. In the instant facts,

Page 21 of 27
the patient had undergone the same process of being

administered anaesthesia for the first operation and the

operation had been performed successfully and the entire

process was said to be uneventful. Though in the second

operation, the patient had suffered a cardiac arrest, the

subsequent processes with the help of the Boyle’s apparatus

had been conducted and the patient had also been moved to

the CCU whereafter the subsequent efforts had failed. The

patient had breathed her last after few days. As already

noted, there was no contrary medical evidence placed on

record to establish that the situation had arisen due to the

medical negligence on the part of the doctors.

20. The very questions raised by the NCDRC at issue Nos.2

to 7 would indicate that in the present fact situation the first

operation performed by the same team of doctors in the same

hospital was successful and the unfortunate incident

occurred when the second operation was scheduled. Hence

what was required to be determined was whether medically,

the second operation could have been conducted or not in

that situation and whether the medical condition of the

patient in the present case permitted the same. The issues

Page 22 of 27
raised by framing the other questions would have arisen

depending only on the analysis of the medical evidence on

those issues at 2 to 7 more particularly issues 2 and 3.

21. In addition to what has been noted above, in the

context of the issues which had been raised for consideration,

the verbatim conclusion reached by the NCDRC would be

relevant to be noted. The issues No. 2 and 3 which were

raised for consideration are the crucial issues which entirely

was on the medical parlance of the case. The said issues

were to the effect as to whether the second surgery should

have been undertaken since it was recorded that the patient

has poor tolerance to anaesthesia and whether the surgery of

the second kidney should have been taken within eight days

from the first surgery though it was not an emergency. As

noted, the appellants being doctors had tendered their

affidavits indicating that as per the medical practice the same

was permissible. On behalf of the claimants no medical

evidence was tendered. Though from the available records

the NCDRC could have formed its opinion with reference to

medical evidence if any, the nature of the conclusion recorded

is necessary to be noted.

Page 23 of 27
“We are surprised to note that the treating doctor after
recording that the patient had poor tolerance to
anaesthesia has tried to defend his action by stating
that poor tolerance to anaesthesia means nothing.”

“However, we cannot be oblivious of the fact that Dr.
Khurana was the Anaesthesiologist during the first
surgery also and he was fully aware of the conditions of
the patient. In reply to the interrogatories, he has clearly
admitted that he has gone through the notings of Dr.
Mazumdar wherein he has said the patient has poor
tolerance to anaesthesia. We are stunned to note that he
has stated in the reply to interrogatories that in medical
parlance poor tolerance to anaesthesia means nothing’.”

“It is common knowledge that a person can survive with
one kidney, just as a person can survive with one lung.
There are cases where a patient suffers from failure of
both the kidneys and nephrectomy is performed to
replace one of the damaged kidneys by a kidney of a
donor after proper test and verification. Therefore, there
was no hurry to perform the second surgery.”

The extracted portion would indicate that the opinion as

expressed by the NCDRC is not on analysis or based on

medical opinion but their perception of the situation to

arrive at a conclusion. Having expressed their personal

opinion, they have in that context referred to the principles

declared regarding Bolam test and have arrived at the

conclusion that the second surgery should not have been

taken up in such a hurry and in that context that the

appellants have failed to clear the Bolam test and therefore

Page 24 of 27
they are negligent in performing of their duties. The

conclusion reached to that effect is purely on applying the

legal principles, without having any contra medical evidence

on record despite the NCDRC itself observing that the

surgeon was a qualified and experienced doctor and also

that the anaesthetist had administered anaesthesia to

25,000 patients and are not ordinary but experienced


22. On the aspect relating to the observation of poor

tolerance to anaesthesia and the period of performing the

second operation from the time of first operation was

conducted it was a highly technical medical issue which was

also dependant on the condition of the patient in a

particular case which required opinion of an expert in the

field. There was no medical evidence based on which

conclusion was reached with regard to the medical

negligence. The consequential issues with regard to the

preparation that was required and the same not being in

place including of having a cardiologist in attendance are all

issues which was dependant on the aspect noted above on

issues No.2 and 3. The observations of the NCDRC in their

Page 25 of 27
opinion appears to be that the second operation ought not to

have been conducted and such conclusion in fact had led to

the other issues also being answered against the appellants

which is not backed by expert opinion.

23. In the above circumstance when there was no medical

evidence available before the NCDRC on the crucial medical

aspect which required such opinion, the mere reliance

placed on the magisterial enquiry would not be sufficient.

Though the opinion of the civil surgeon who was a member

of the committee is contained in the report, the same cannot

be taken as conclusive since such report does not have the

statutory flavour nor was the civil surgeon who had

tendered his opinion available for cross­examination or

seeking answers by way of interrogatories on the medical

aspects. Therefore, if all these aspects are kept in view, the

correctness or otherwise of the line of treatment and the

decision to conduct the operation and the method followed

were all required to be considered in the background of the

medical evidence in the particular facts of this case. As

indicated, the mere legal principles and the general standard

of assessment was not sufficient in a matter of the present

Page 26 of 27
nature when the very same patient in the same set up had

undergone a successful operation conducted by the same

team of doctors. Hence, the conclusion as reached by the

NCDRC is not sustainable.

24. For the aforesaid reasons, the order dated 13.08.2009

passed in O.P. No.289 of 1997 is set aside. The appeals are

accordingly allowed. There shall be no order as to costs.

25. Pending application, if any, shall stand disposed of.



New Delhi,
September 07, 2021

Page 27 of 27


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