Moved by the plight of a one-year-old child whose leg had been amputated allegedly due to medical negligence, the Delhi High Court has asked the government and hospital authorities to state reasons why compensation should not be paid to his parents for his upbringing.
Taking suo motu cognisance of a newspaper report, a division bench of Justices T.S. Thakur and S.N. Aggarwal earlier this week asked the central government, the health ministry and the state-run Safdarjung Hospital here to file their replies to the petition by Aug 3.
In a petition filed later, the father of Jai, whose right leg had to be amputated due to alleged medical negligence, demanded Rs.1.5 million.
The doctors at the hospital had violated Jai's right to health as guaranteed under Articles 21, 41 and 47 of the constitution, said Advocate Ashok Agrawal in the petition.
The petition has also sought a direction to the authorities to release Rs.35,000 immediately to the parents for providing an artificial leg to the child.
The news report said that the child's right leg had to be amputated on March 5 due to alleged negligence by the doctors in the orthopaedic department of the Safdarjung Hospital.
Ram Babu, a tailor by profession, took Jai to the hospital for treatment after the child broke his leg in January. The doctors at the hospital plastered the leg - but so tightly that a sensitive nerve came under pressure, leading to insufficient blood supply, alleged a preliminary report.
When parents noticed boils peeping out of the plaster, they took the child to the hospital Jan 21.
The report quoted Ram Babu as saying that senior doctors and the medical superintendent's office refused to hear his pleas and an official asked him to go to court.
On Feb 21, the foot from just below the ankle detached itself from the rest of the body and it had to be amputated on March 5.
The tailor, who earns Rs.2,000 a month, has already spent more than Rs.40,000 on his son's treatment, the report said.