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The Delhi High Court Thursday slapped a cost of Rs.1 lakh on the central government for a vexatious appeal and pulled it up for denying relief to a widow whose daughter died due to a dispensary’s negligence.

The central government had challenged a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) order that asked it to pay Rs.1 lakh in damages to a widow who lost her daughter due to administration of wrong medicine.

Justice S. Muralidhar imposed an exemplary cost of Rs.1 lakh on the government for prolonging the agony of the victim’s mother and preventing her from getting compensation for almost two years.

“This court is constrained to observe that this is a vexatious litigation needlessly pursued by the central government. Instead of accepting the finding of the NHRC and agreeing to pay token compensation awarded to the aggrieved, it has dragged her to this court, thus prolonging her agony and preventing her from getting the compensation amount for over two years,” the court said.

The NHRC had directed the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) to pay a compensation to the mother of 28-year-old Sunita, who died due to negligence of the government dispensary which gave her a wrong medicine.

Sunita was prescribed a vitamin B complex drug during the course of a routine check-up at Ram Manohar Lohia hospital.

Being government’s health service beneficiary, she sought the medicine from a pharmacy at a CGHS dispensary, which wrongly gave her a psychotic drug.

“Administering a wrong medicine to an otherwise healthy person resulting into an irreversible deterioration of such person’s health was far too serious a violation of that person’s right to life under Article 21 of the constitution,” the court ruled.

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