The apex consumer commission has asked the Delhi government to pay over Rs 8 lakh to the kin of a 46-year-old man who died due to “gross negligence” at the state-run LNJP hospital while being subjected to radiotherapy.
A bench of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), presided by Justice D K Jain, asked the Delhi government to pay Rs 8.25 lakh to the wife and three children of Ghaziabad resident Ramveer Singh, who died in October 2004.
The order came while hearing two revision petitions, filed against the order passed by Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission by which it had asked the Delhi government to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to Singh’s kin.
One revision petition was filed by Singh’s kin seeking enhancement of the quantum of compensation, while the other was moved by Delhi government seeking absolvement from the liability to pay.
“A bare perusal of the stand of the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narain (LNJP) hospital in the appeal filed on its behalf by the government of NCT leaves no scope for any doubt that on hospital’s own showing there was gross negligence while subjecting the deceased (Singh) to radiotherapy,” the NCDRC said.
It noted that the hospital’s “treating doctor” had prescribed excessive dose of radiation to Singh and a direct radiation field applied on his body had harmed him to a great extent.
“LNJP hospital owed a duty to give proper treatment to the deceased- be it in prescription or in therapy, and as, according to it, the treatment given by its doctor, was improper, liability to pay compensation can be fastened on it alone. We hold accordingly,” the apex commission said.
The family members had earlier told a district consumer forum that on December 16, 1997, Singh was operated in city based G B Pant hospital for removal of malignant tumour cell.
However, he again developed the same problem and was operated again and later, he was referred to the LNJP hospital, they said.
Family members alleged that during Singh’s radiotherapy, due to lack of proper monitoring and excessive heat on the affected portion of the body, he suffered paralysis below the chest and ultimately died on October 20, 2004.
Thereafter, they had filed a complaint before the forum alleging medical negligence on the part of a doctor and a technician of LNJP hospital, and sought a compensation of Rs 19.25 lakh.