MP High Court awards compensation to woman who delivered a child despite undergoing sterilization
Savita Vasuniya vs State of Madhya Pradesh and Ors.
In this particular case before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh (Indore Bench), the petitioner (Savita Vasuniya) moved court for failure of sterilization procedure. The petitioner had undergone a sterilization procedure on 9th February, 2015 and on account of its failure, she conceived and gave birth to a child on 15th October, 2015. In accordance with the executive orders of the Government of India, Government of Madhya Pradesh and the “Family Planning Indemnity Scheme” which provides for compensation in light of post-operative complications, the petitioner who belongs to the economically weaker strata of society sought an amount of Rs.10 Lakh from the respondent party in the form of damages. The petitioner claims that there was no negligence on her part as she had taken due care and caution as advised by the doctor.
As per the order (dated 15th May, 2018) passed by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, the Indore Bench has directed the Chief Medical and Heart Officer (Jhabua) to grant a sum of Rs. 30,000 to the petitioner in the form of damages within a period of sixty days from the date of receipt of certified copy of this ruling. In the event of non-payment of damages to the petitioner within the stipulated period of 30 days, an interest of 12.5% per annum shall be imposed on the same from the date of passing of the order till the amount is actually paid to the petitioner. The payment of damages is subject to verification of certificates produced by the petitioner. The court has relied on the judgement rendered in a similar case i.e. Smt. Komal Bai v/s State of M.P. & Ors
This order passed by the court is significant from a socio-legal perspective and sets a precedent for similar cases. It is essential that such sterilization procedures are carried out effectively and with utmost care so as to ensure public welfare and adherence to the population control measures and initiatives taken by the Government. Error-free sterilization procedures assume paramount importance especially in this day and age as the patient opting for sterilization relies on the guarantee of effectiveness of the procedure throughout his/her life. Failure of this procedure may result in biological and economic turmoil thereby affecting the personal health and finances of the individual. Therefore, in light of the mental and physical distress the individual undergoes due to failure of the sterilization procedure, he/she has a right to be compensated adequately.
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