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The Kerala High Court has held that a woman, who underwent abotched sterilisationprocedure in 1985 after which she conceived, was liable for a compensation of Rs 1.23 lakh from the state government.

Dismissing a state appeal yesterday, a Division Bench, comprising Thothathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice Babu Mathew P Joseph, observed that when societal interest got involved, the State had the constitutional responsibility to support the victims of the failed sterlisation procedure.

The government had approached the court against the ruling of Irinjalakdua Principal sub-court to pay a compensation of Rs 48,000 to the woman.

The bench not only dismissed the state appeal but also enhanced the compensation amount to Rs 1.23 lakh.

The court observed that the woman had undergone the sterilisation procedure on the advice that it was a foolproof method of birth control.

Even if the failure of the procedure could not be attributed to medical negligence, the state had the liability to pay compensation in the context of balance of equilibrium between fundamental duty, directive principles of the State policy and fundamental rights, the court said.

According to the woman, she had undergone the sterilisation procedure at a government hospital in Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district after her third child was born. However, even after the procedure, she conceived and delivered a fourth baby which did not survive, causing her great mental agony.

 


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