Negligence is the breach of a legal duty to care .
Negligence is the breach of a duty caused by omission to do something which a reasonable man guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs would do, or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do.
it is beyond the ambit of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, under Section 2(1)(o) of the Act.
Contract for service
a contract whereby one party undertakes to render services (such as professional or technical services) to another, in which the service provider is not subjected to a detailed direction and control.
The provider exercises professional / technical skill and uses his or her own knowledge and discretion.
Indian Medical Association v. V.P. Shantha and Ors [AIR 1996 SC 550]:
SC – ‘whether a medical practitioner renders 'service' and can be proceeded against for 'deficiency in service' before a forum u/the Act?
medical professionals do not enjoy any immunity from being sued in contract or tort (i.e. in civil jurisdiction) on the ground of negligence.
even though services rendered by medical practitioners are of a personal nature they cannot be treated as contracts of personal service (which are excluded from the Act). They are contracts for service, under which a doctor too can be sued in Consumer Protection Courts.
A doctor, when consulted by a patient owes him a duty of care in
set three criteria for the safety of the medical professional:
must possess adequate skill in that area of medical practice;
exercises reasonable care while performing his skill.
Mere negligence will not make out a case for compensation against him but that negligence should have a direct nexus with the injury caused to the complainant. If the injury does not have a direct link towards negligence, no award of compensation exists.